✓ The authors report on a 38-year-old woman with a dislocated hangman fracture associated with unilateral vertebral artery (VA) occlusion. The patient presented with a mild central cord syndrome, as well as anterior subluxation of the C-2 vertebral body upon C-3, bilateral neural arch fractures, and a unilateral locked facet joint. Digital subtraction angiography revealed occlusion of the right VA, with the posterior cerebral circulation entirely dependent on the left VA. Intraoperative angiography demonstrated that complete reduction of the dislocation would have caused severe stenosis of the left VA; partial reduction and anterior fixation were performed instead, with excellent neurological outcome. In this case, intraoperative angiography was particularly useful for preventing brain-related ischemic complications during reduction.
Toshiyuki Takahashi, Teiji Tominaga, Masayuki Ezura, Kiyotaka Sato and Takashi Yoshimoto
Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Yoshimasa Mori and Jun Yoshida
Object. Gamma knife surgery (GKS) has been a safe and effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas in both the short and long term, although less is known about long-term outcomes in the past 10 years. The aim of this study was to clarify long-term outcomes in patients with vestibular schwannomas treated using GKS based on techniques in place in the early 1990s.
Methods. Eighty patients harboring a vestibular schwannoma (excluding neurofibromatosis Type 2) were treated using GKS between May 1991 and December 1993. Among these, 73 patients were assessed; seven were lost to follow up. The median duration of follow up was 135 months. The mean patient age at the time of GKS was 56 years old. The mean tumor volume was 6.3 cm3, and the mean maximal and marginal radiation doses applied to the tumor were 28.4 and 14.6 Gy, respectively. Follow-up magnetic resonance images were obtained in 71 patients. Forty-eight patients demonstrated partial tumor remission, 14 had tumors that remained stable, and nine demonstrated tumor enlargement or radiation-induced edema requiring resection. Patients with larger tumors did not fare as well as those with smaller lesions. The actuarial 10-year progression-free survival rate was 87% overall, and 93% in patients with tumor volumes less than 10 cm3. No patient experienced malignant transformation.
Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery remained an effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas for longer than 10 years. Although treatment failures usually occurred within 3 years after GKS, it is necessary to continue follow up in patients to reveal delayed tumor recurrence.
Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto and Toshinori Hasegawa
The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of radiosurgery in patients with facial schwannoma.
The study population consisted of 14 patients, six men and eight women, with a mean age of 45.4 years. Most of the patients had presented with facial palsy (11 of 14 patients) and/or hearing disturbance (nine of 14 patients). Prior treatment in nine of the 14 cases consisted of tumor resection or tumor biopsy. Tumor volume ranged from 0.98 to 20.8 cm3, and the mean tumor volume was 5.5 cm3. The mean maximum radiation dose and mean tumor margin dose used for radiosurgery were 24.0 and 12.9 Gy, respectively.
During the mean follow-up period of 31.4 months (range 12–120 months), 10 of the tumors shrank and four remained unchanged. The tumor response and tumor control rates were 57 and 100%, respectively. None of the tumors progressed, and no subsequent resection was required. Facial nerve function improved in five cases, remained unchanged in eight, and became worse in one. There was no change in hearing function in any of the patients. Complications developed in only one patient: the onset of facial palsy immediately after treatment, which subsequently recovered to House–Brackmann Grade III.
In summary, radiosurgery was found to be a very useful method of treating facial schwannoma, for both tumor control and functional control. Radiosurgery should therefore be the treatment of first choice for facial schwannomas.
Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto and Jouji Koike
Information on outcomes of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for patients harboring trigeminal schwannomas is limited because these tumors are rare. The authors evaluated tumor control and functional outcomes in patients who underwent GKS for trigeminal schwannomas to clarify the efficacy of this treatment.
Forty-two patients with trigeminal schwannomas but no evidence of neurofibromatosis Type 2 were treated with GKS at Komaki City Hospital between November 1991 and December 2003. Of these, 37 patients were assessed. The mean tumor volume in these patients was 10 cm3. The mean maximum radiation dose directed to the tumor was 27.9 Gy and the mean dose directed to the tumor margin was 14.2 Gy. The mean follow-up period was 54 months. In four patients (11%) there was complete tumor remission; in 20 (54%) there was partial tumor remission; in eight (22%) the disease remained stable; and in five (14%) the tumor enlarged or uncontrollable facial pain developed with radiation-induced edema requiring resection. The actuarial 5- and 10-year tumor control rates were both 84%. With respect to functional outcomes, 40% of patients noted an improvement in their symptoms, and one patient experienced new symptoms despite good tumor control.
Gamma Knife surgery was a safe and effective treatment for a select group of patients harboring trigeminal schwannomas. Large tumors that compress the brainstem and cause deviation of the fourth ventricle should first be removed surgically and any remnant should be treated by GKS.
Toshinori Hasegawa, Dai Ishii, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Joji Koike and Hiroshi Iizuka
The purpose of this study was to evaluate radiosurgical outcomes in skull base chordomas and chondrosarcomas, and to determine which tumors are appropriate for stereotactic radiosurgery as adjuvant therapy following maximum tumor resection.
Thirty-seven patients (48 lesions) were treated using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS); 27 had chordomas, seven had chondrosarcomas, and three had radiologically diagnosed chordomas. The mean tumor volume was 20 ml, and the mean maximum and marginal doses were 28 and 14 Gy, respectively. The mean follow-up period was 97 months from diagnosis and 59 months from GKS.
The actuarial 5- and 10-year survival rates after GKS were 80 and 53%, respectively. The actuarial 5- and 10-year local tumor control (LTC) rates after single or multiple GKS sessions were 76 and 67%, respectively. All patients with low-grade chondrosarcomas achieved good LTC. A tumor volume of less than 20 ml significantly affected the high rate of LTC (p = 0.0182). No patient had adverse radiation effects, other than one in whom facial numbness worsened despite successful tumor control.
As an adjuvant treatment after resection, GKS is a reasonable option for selected patients harboring skull base chordomas or chondrosarcomas with a residual tumor volume of less than 20 ml. Dose planning with a generous treatment volume to avoid marginal treatment failure should be made at a marginal dose of at least 15 Gy to achieve long-term tumor control.
Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Joji Koike, Hiroshi Iizuka and Dai Ishii
The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term outcomes, including tumor control and neurological function, in patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas treated using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).
One hundred fifteen patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas, excluding atypical or malignant meningiomas, were treated with GKS between 1991 and 2003. Forty-nine patients (43%) underwent GKS as the initial treatment. The mean tumor volume was 14 cm3, and the mean maximum and margin doses applied to the tumor were 27 and 13 Gy, respectively. The median follow-up period was 62 months. During the follow-up, 111 patients were able to be evaluated with neuroimaging.
The actuarial 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 87 and 73%, respectively. Similarly, the actuarial 5- and 10-year focal tumor control rates were 94 and 92%, respectively. Regarding functional outcomes, 43 patients (46%) experienced some degree of improvement, 40 (43%) remained stable, and 11 (12%) had worse preexisting or newly developed symptoms. Patients who underwent GKS as the initial treatment experienced significant improvement of their symptoms (p = 0.006).
Gamma Knife surgery is a safe and effective treatment over the long term in selected patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas. Tumor progression is more likely to occur from the lesion margin outside the treatment volume. In small to medium-sized tumors, GKS is an excellent alternative to resection, preserving good neurological function. For relatively large-sized tumors, low-dose radiosurgery (≤ 12 Gy) is acceptable for the prevention of tumor progression.
Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Hiroshi Iizuka, Dai Ishii and Kouta Yoshida
The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes in patients with convexity, parasagittal, or falcine meningiomas treated using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) and to determine management strategy considering a risk of radiation-induced edema.
One hundred twelve patients who harbored 125 convexity, parasagittal, or falcine meningiomas were assessed. Forty-six patients underwent GKS as the initial treatment. The median tumor diameter was 25 mm, and median tumor volume was 8 cm3. The median maximum and margin doses were 30 and 16 Gy, respectively.
The median follow-up period was 72 months. The actuarial 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 78% and 55%, respectively. The actuarial 5- and 10-year local tumor control rates were 87% and 71%, respectively. Of 29 tumors that developed postradiosurgical edema, 7 were symptomatic. The actuarial symptomatic radiation-induced edema rate was 7%. The incidence of this complication was significantly higher in patients who underwent GKS as the initial treatment. Six of 46 patients for whom GKS was the initial treatment had preradiosurgical edema. Of these 6 patients, 4 developed severe panhemispheric edema after GKS (2 patients with parasagittal tumors, 1 with a falx tumor, and 1 with a convexity tumor).
Gamma Knife surgery is an effective treatment for convexity, parasagittal, and falcine meningiomas as the initial or adjuvant treatment. However, GKS should be restricted to small- to medium-sized tumors, particularly in patients with primary tumors, because radiation-induced edema is more common in convexity, parasagittal, and falcine meningiomas than skull base meningiomas.