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Keisuke Maruyama, Masahiro Shin, Hiroki Kurita, Masao Tago, and Takaaki Kirino

✓The authors present a case of ruptured dural arteriovenous fistula primarily draining into the superior sagittal sinus, which was successfully treated by gamma knife radiosurgery.

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Masao Tago, Atsuro Terahara, Keiichi Nakagawa, Yukimasa Aoki, Kuni Ohtomo, Masahiro Shin, and Hiroki Kurita

✓ The authors describe acute deterioration in facial and acoustic neuropathies following radiosurgery for acoustic neuromas.

In May 1995, a 26-year-old man, who had no evidence of neurofibromatosis Type 2, was treated with gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS; maximum dose 20 Gy and margin dose 14 Gy) for a right-sided intracanalicular acoustic tumor. Two days after the treatment, he developed headache, vomiting, right-sided facial weakness, tinnitus, and right hearing loss. There was a deterioration of facial nerve function and hearing function from pretreatment values. The facial function worsened from House—Brackmann Grade 1 to 3. Hearing deteriorated from Grade 1 to 5. Magnetic resonance (MR) images, obtained at the same time revealed an obvious decrease in contrast enhancement of the tumor without any change in tumor size or peritumoral edema. Facial nerve function improved gradually and increased to House—Brackmann Grade 2 by 8 months post-GKS. The tumor has been unchanged in size for 5 years, and facial nerve function has also been maintained at Grade 2 with unchanged deafness.

This is the first detailed report of immediate facial neuropathy after GKS for acoustic neuroma and MR imaging revealing early possibly toxic changes. Potential explanations for this phenomenon are presented.

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Keisuke Maruyama, Masahiro Shin, Masao Tago, Hiroki Kurita, Shunsuke Kawamoto, Akio Morita, and Takaaki Kirino

Object. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of gamma knife surgery (GKS) for the treatment of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) involving the corpus callosum.

Methods. Thirty-two patients aged from 7 to 65 years (median 25 years) with AVMs of the corpus callosum underwent GKS between 1990 and 2002. The maximum AVM diameter was more than 3 cm in 11 patients (34%). The AVM volume ranged from 0.1 to 19.1 cm3 (median 1.6 cm3). The median dose to the AVM margin was 20 Gy (range 17–28 Gy). Patients were followed for 1 to 12 years (median 9 years). The angiographically confirmed actuarial obliteration rate was 64% and 74% at 4 and 6 years, respectively. Younger patient age (p < 0.05) and lower radiosurgery-based grading score (calculated from the patient age and AVM volume; p < 0.01) were the significant factors affecting successful AVM obliteration. No patient suffered a hemorrhage after GKS, although 28 patients (88%) had a history of hemorrhage from their AVMs. Radiation-induced neurological deficit was observed only in one patient (3%) who had undergone previous radiotherapy (50 Gy). No patient experienced complications of occlusion or stenosis of the normal vascular structures adjacent to the AVM.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery is a safe and effective treatment for selected patients with AVMs involving the corpus callosum, and it carries a low risk of damaging adjacent critical vascular structures. Even ruptured AVMs with relatively large diameter can be successfully treated, especially in younger patients, with minimal morbidity and a low risk of repeated hemorrhage.

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Masao Tago, Atsuro Terahara, Masahiro Shin, Keisuke Maruyama, Hiroki Kurita, Keiichi Nakagawa, and Kuni Ohtomo

Object. The authors reviewed their 14-year experience using stereotactic radiosurgery for the treatment of hemangioblastomas and define the role and the proper strategy for radiosurgery of this condition.

Methods. This is a retrospective study of 38 hemangioblastomas in 13 patients. Seven patients had von Hippel—Lindau disease. All patients have undergone at least one follow-up visit. The median and mean tumor volumes were 0.23 cm3 and 0.72 cm3 respectively (range 0.004:4.84 cm3). Twenty-eight tumors received 20 Gy to the margin, and the remainder received 18 Gy. The median clinical follow-up period was 36 months (range 3–159 months).

No patient died. The survival rate was 84.6% (11 of 13 patients). The actuarial 5- and 10-year survival rates were both 80.8%. The median radiological follow-up period was 35 months (range 7–147 months). Only one tumor increased in volume 24 months after treatment in association with an intratumoral hemorrhage. The tumor control rate was 97.4% (37 of 38 tumors). Actuarial 5- and 10-year control rates were both 96.2%. New lesions and/or those increasing in size outside the irradiated area were discovered in five patients (38.5%). Nine tumors revealed peritumoral contrast enhancement which was seen more frequently in larger tumors with a volume greater than 0.5 cm3 (p = 0.0034).

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery is a safe and effective method to control hemangioblastomas for as many as 10 years. Higher doses and smaller tumors probably contribute to good outcomes. Recurrence outside the original irradiated area is common. Peritumoral contrast enhancement may be seen in larger tumors. The authors recommend regular imaging follow up and early repeated treatment in the face of new or growing tumors.

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Naoki Nakamura, Masahiro Shin, Masao Tago, Atsuro Terahara, Hiroki Kurita, Kejichi Nakagawa, and Kuni Ohtomo

✓ A cavernous hemangioma occurring in the cavernous sinus is a rare vascular tumor that causes cranial nerve symptoms by direct compression. Surgical removal is often difficult because excessive intraoperative bleeding is expected. These lesions remain a therapeutic challenge even with state-of-the-art treatment modalities. The authors report three cases of cavernous hemangioma occurring in the cavernous sinus that were treated with gamma knife radiosurgery, with a mean patient age of 66 years and a mean tumor volume of 2.3 cm3.

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Masahiro Shin, Hiroki Kurita, Tomio Sasaki, Masao Tago, Akio Morita, Keisuke Ueki, and Takaaki Kirino

Object. The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) treatment of pituitary adenomas that have invaded the cavernous sinus.

Methods. Sixteen patients were treated with GKS: three with nonfunctional adenomas and 13 with hormone-secreting (seven growth hormone [GH] and six adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH]) adenomas. More than 16 Gy and 30 Gy were delivered to the tumor margin for nonfunctioning tumors and functioning tumors, respectively, keeping the dose to the optic pathways below 10 Gy. The median follow up was 3 years.

Tumor growth control was achieved in all cases. In GH-producing tumors, four of six cases evaluated were endocrinologically normalized (serum GH < 10 mIU/L, somatomedin C < 450 ng/ml), and the remaining two cases also showed a steady decrease in the GH and somatomedin level. In ACTH-producing tumors, three of six cases were endocrinologically normalized (24-hour urinary-free cortisol < 90 mg/day), two were unchanged, and one showed hormonal recurrence 3 years after radiosurgery. Notably, there were no cases of permanent hypopituitarism or visual symptoms caused by radiosurgery.

Conclusions. The authors data indicate that GKS can be a safe salvage therapy for invading pituitary adenomas, with effectiveness equivalent to conventional radiation therapy but with less risk of causing radiation-induced injury to the surrounding structures.

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Hiroki Kurita, Keisuke Ueki, Masahiro Shin, Shunsuke Kawamoto, Tomio Sasaki, Masao Tago, and Takaaki Kirino

Object. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence, characteristics, and radiosurgical outcomes of headaches associated with occipital arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Methods. The authors reviewed the medical records of 37 consecutive patients with occipital AVMs who had been treated by radiosurgery to identify the radiological features of the AVMs before and after treatment and the clinical features and outcomes of headaches described in accordance with the criteria of the International Headache Society (IHS).

Thirty-six patients (97.3%) were followed for a mean period of 46.6 months. The median volume of the AVMs was 1.9 cm3, to which a mean radiation dose of 21.6 Gy was delivered. In the entire study group, periodic headaches were found in 17 patients (45.9%), of whom seven (18.9%) suffered from migraines with the characteristic visual aura. Migraine was predominantly found in patients with right-sided (p = 0.038) or laterally located (p = 0.025) AVMs. Factors associated with a higher incidence of any type of headache included larger nidus volume (p = 0.02), tortuous change of feeding artery (p = 0.036), and cortical drainage with reflux in the superior sagittal sinus (p = 0.032). The actuarial rate of angiographic obliteration was 71.6% at 3 years. Headaches resolved or improved in 12 (70.6%) of 17 patients, including six (85.7%) of seven with migraine. The outcome of headache closely correlated with the obliteration results of the AVM (p = 0.002).

Conclusions. A portion of occipital AVMs do cause headaches that satisfy the current IHS criteria for migraine, and the prevalence varies by the topography of the lesion. Radiosurgery can resolve headaches in the majority of treated patients.

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Masahiro Shin, Nobutaka Kawahara, Keisuke Maruyama, Masao Tago, Keisuke Ueki, and Takaaki Kirino

Object. Radiosurgery has been widely adopted for the treatment of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in which the practical endpoint is angiographic evidence of obliteration, presumed to be consistent with elimination of the risk of hemorrhage. To test this unverified assumption, the authors followed 236 radiosurgery-treated AVMs between 1 and 133 months (median 77 months) after angiographic evidence of obliteration.

Methods. Four patients experienced hemorrhage between 16 and 51 months after angiographic confirmation of AVM obliteration, and two underwent resection. The histological findings in these patients showed occlusion of the AVM by thickening of the intimal layer with dense hyalinization as well as a small amount of residual AVM vessels and a tiny vasculature. The risks of hemorrhage from these presumaby obliterated AVMs were 0.3% for the annual bleeding risk and 2.2% for the cumulative risk over 10 years. Continuous enhancement of the nidus on computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was the only significant factor positively associated with hemorrhage in the statistical analysis (p = 0.0212).

Conclusions. Because the study was based on limited follow-up data, its significance for defining predictive features of hemorrhage after angiographic evidence of obliteration is still indeterminable. Nevertheless, disappearance of the AVM on angiography after radiosurgery does not always indicate total elimination of the disease, especially when CT or MR imaging continues to demonstrate an enhancing lesion. The authors therefore recommend continual follow up even after evidence of AVM obliteration on angiography.

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Keisuke Maruyama, Tomoyuki Koga, Masahiro Shin, Hiroshi Igaki, Masao Tago, and Nobuhito Saito

Object

Optimal timing of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) after hemorrhage from brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is unclear and of concern to neurosurgeons because GKS is usually performed after absorption of the hematoma. The authors investigated whether waiting for hematoma absorption is beneficial and aimed to clarify the optimal treatment timing.

Methods

The authors retrospectively studied 211 patients with AVMs who presented with hemorrhage and underwent GKS as the initial treatment. Patients were categorized into 3 groups according to the interval between the time of first hemorrhage and GKS, as follows: Group 1, 0–3 months (70 patients); Group 2, 3–6 months (62 patients); and Group 3, > 6 months (79 patients). The obliteration rates, number of hemorrhages before and after GKS, and complication rates were compared between these 3 groups. The authors also analyzed a subgroup of 127 patients who presented with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) to identify the influence of ICH on outcome.

Results

After a median follow-up of 6.3 years, the rates of obliteration, hemorrhage after treatment, and complication were not significantly different between the 3 groups even though the patients with a longer interval before GKS (Group 3) had more AVMs in eloquent areas and neurological deficits. However, the numbers of patients with preoperative hemorrhage in the interval before GKS was significantly higher in Group 3 (1, 3, and 20 patients in Group 1, 2, and 3, respectively). These results were similar in the analyses of 127 patients presenting with ICH.

Conclusions

No benefit was detected in waiting for hematoma absorption until GKS after hemorrhage from AVM. Because of higher hemorrhagic risk until GKS > 6 months after hemorrhage, the authors recommend GKS within 6 months after hemorrhage.

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Masahiro Shin, Hiroki Kurita, Tomio Sasaki, Shunsuke Kawamoto, Masao Tago, Nobutaka Kawahara, Akio Morita, Keisuke Ueki, and Takaaki Kirino

Object. The long-term outcome of stereotactic radiosurgery for cavernous sinus (CS) meningiomas is not fully understood. The authors retrospectively reviewed their experience with 40 CS meningiomas treated with gamma knife radiosurgery.

Methods. Follow-up periods for the 40 patients ranged from 12 to 123 months (median 42 months), and the overall tumor control rates were 86.4% at 3 years and 82.3% at 10 years. Factors associated with tumor recurrence in univariate analysis were histological malignancy (p < 0.0001), partial treatment (p < 0.0001), suprasellar tumor extension (p = 0.0201), or extension in more than three directions outside the CS (p = 0.0345). When the tumor was completely covered with a dose to the margin that was higher than 14 Gy (Group A, 22 patients), no patient showed recurrence within the median follow-up period of 37 months. On the other hand, when a part of the tumor was treated with 10 to 12 Gy (Group B, 15 patients) or did not receive radiation therapy (Group C, three patients), the recurrence rates were 20% and 100%, respectively. Neurological deterioration was seen in nine patients, but all symptoms were transient or very mild.

Conclusions. The data indicate that stereotactic radiosurgery can control tumor growth if the whole mass can be irradiated by dosages of more than 14 Gy. When optimal radiosurgical planning is not feasible because of a tumor's large size, irregular shape, or proximity to visual pathways, use of limited surgical resection before radiosurgery is the best option and should provide sufficient long-term tumor control with minimal complications.