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James L. West, Michael H. Soike, Jaclyn J. Renfrow, Michael D. Chan, Adrian W. Laxton and Stephen B. Tatter

OBJECTIVE

Rathke’s cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign lesions of the sella turcica that usually come to neurosurgical attention due to compression of the optic apparatus (OA) and headaches. Treatment options for these lesions include observation, aspiration of cyst contents, or open resection of the cyst with the cyst wall. All of these options involve the potential for cyst recurrence or enlargement. In this study the authors report on a potential new therapeutic option for RCCs, i.e., stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of 5 patients with histologically confirmed, multiply recurrent RCCs who were treated with single-fraction SRS at a tertiary referral academic medical center.

RESULTS

The total cohort consisted of 5 female patients with an average age of 31.8 years. The most common presenting symptom was headache followed by blurry vision. The symptoms were present on average for 7 months before intervention. The median number of surgeries prior to radiosurgery was 2. The average volume of lesion treated was 0.34 cm3. The median SRS dose was 12.5 Gy prescribed to the 50% isodose line with an average prescription coverage of 96.6%. The median dose to the OA was 5 Gy. At last follow-up, 3 of 5 cysts had completely regressed, 1 had regressed by more than 50% but was still present, and 1 was stable, with an overall mean follow-up duration of 34.2 months. There were no neurological, endocrinological, or visual complications attributable to SRS during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS

RCCs can be a challenging clinical entity to treat, especially when they are multiply recurrent. In patients with an average of 2 previous surgeries for resection, a single SRS session prevented recurrence universally, with an average follow-up of almost 3 years. These results indicate that further investigation of the treatment of RCCs with SRS is indicated.

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Ann Liu, Elizabeth N. Kuhn, John T. Lucas Jr., Adrian W. Laxton, Stephen B. Tatter and Michael D. Chan

OBJECT

Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder predisposing patients to meningiomatosis. The role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is poorly defined in NF2, and although the procedure has excellent control rates in the non-NF2 population, its utility has been questioned because radiation has been hypothesized to predispose patients to malignant transformation of benign tumors. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to examine the use of SRS specifically for meningiomas in patients with NF2.

METHODS

The authors searched a tumor registry for all patients with NF2 who had undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for meningioma in the period from January 1, 1999, to September 19, 2013, at a single tertiary care cancer center. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed for patient and tumor characteristics and outcomes.

Results

Among the 12 patients who met the search criteria, 125 meningiomas were identified, 87 (70%) of which were symptomatic or progressive and thus treated with GKRS. The median age at the first GKRS was 31 years (interquartile range [IQR] 27–37 years). Five patients (42%) had multiple treatments with a median of 27 months (IQR 14–50 months) until the subsequent GKRS. The median follow-up in surviving patients was 43 months (IQR 34–110 months). The 5-year local tumor control and distant treatment failure rates were 92% and 77%, respectively. Toxicities occurred in 25% of the GKRS treatments, although the majority were Grade 1 or 2. At the last follow-up, 4 patients (33%) had died a neurological death at a median age of 39 years (IQR 37–46 years), and their cases accounted for 45% of all tumors, 55% of all treated tumors, and 58% of all GKRSs. Univariate analysis revealed several predictive variables for distant failure, including male sex (HR 0.28, 95% CI 0.086–0.92, p = 0.036), age at distant failure (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.90–0.95, p < 0.0001), and prior number of GKRS treatments (HR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.4, p = 0.0049). Local failure, maximum size of the treated tumor, delivered tumor margin dose, and WHO grade were not significant. On multivariate analysis, age at distant failure (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.88–0.95, p < 0.0001) and prior number of GKRSs (HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1–1.5, p = 0.004) remained significant. No malignant transformation events among treated tumors were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

Radiosurgery represents a feasible modality with minimal toxicity for NF2-associated meningiomas. Increasing patient age was associated with a decreased rate of distant failure, whereas an increasing number of prior GKRS treatments predicted distant failure. Further studies are necessary to determine the long-term patterns of treatment failure in these patients.

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Michael Chan, Sebastian R. Herrera, Sergey Neckrysh, Adam Wallace, Tibor Valyi-Nagy and Fady T. Charbel

The authors report a case of primitive neuroectodermal tumor induced by radiation therapy of craniopharyngioma. This African-American male patient originally presented with craniopharyngioma, for which he underwent resection and whole-brain radiation therapy. Eight years later, at the age of 20 years, he returned with a left facial droop and left hemiparesis. A right basal ganglia mass was identified and resected. Histopathological examination identified the lesion as primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

Although radiation therapy has shown to be beneficial in decreasing the recurrence rate in subtotally resected craniopharyngioma, the risks of radiation treatment should be clearly communicated to the patients, their families, and neurosurgeons before starting such treatment. This report expands the spectrum of reported radiation-induced neoplasms in the CNS.

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Patrick D. S. Chan, J. Max Findlay, Bozena Vollrath, David A. Cook, Michael Grace, Ming H. Chen and Robert A. Ashforth

✓ Despite growing clinical use of transluminal balloon angioplasty (TBA) to treat cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the precise mechanism of action of balloon dilation on the cerebral arterial wall is unknown. In this experiment the authors examined the pharmacological and morphological changes in 10 normal and 12 vasospastic canine basilar arteries following in vitro silicone microballoon TBA. For the SAH group in which the double-hemorrhage model was used, vasospasm was confirmed by angiography and the animals were killed on Day 7 after the first SAH. In vitro TBA was performed on basilar arteries from normal and SAH dogs immediately after sacrifice and removal of the brain. The procedure was performed while the arteries were maintained in oxygenated Krebs buffer. In the pharmacological studies, potassium chloride, prostaglandin F, serotonin, and noradrenaline were used as vasoconstrictors, and bradykinin and calcium ionophore A23187 were used to produce an endothelium-dependent dilation. In both normal and vasospastic groups, the pharmacological responses of dilated segments of basilar arteries were compared to those of nondilated segments of the same arteries.

Vessels from all groups were examined using scanning electron microscopy (EM) and transmission EM. Scanning EM was used to study the intact vessel wall, the smooth-muscle cell layer obtained after digestion with hydrochloric acid, and the extracellular matrix obtained after digestion with bleach. Cross-sections of the vessel wall were examined using transmission EM.

The most striking finding was that immediately after in vitro TBA of both normal and vasospastic canine basilar arteries, there was a significant reduction (p < 0.05) of responses to both vasoconstrictors and vasorelaxants. As revealed by scanning EM and transmission EM, both normal and vasospastic vessels dilated with TBA showed flattening and patchy denudation of the endothelium, and straightening and occasional rupturing of the internal elastic lamina. In addition, vasospastic vessels dilated with TBA showed decreased surface rippling and mild stretching and straightening of smooth-muscle cells, and mild thinning of the tunica media. There was no gross vascular disruption or obvious change in the extracellular matrix of the vessel walls of either normal or vasospastic arteries after TBA. These results suggest that functional impairment of vasoreactivity in the vessel wall as a result of mechanical stretching of the smooth-muscle layer plays a more important role than structural alteration, at least in the immediate dilation produced in vasospastic arteries byTBA.

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Michael Chan, Ali Alaraj, Mateo Calderon, Sebastian Ramon Herrera, Weihua Gao, Sean Ruland and Ben Zion Roitberg

Object

Patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage treated using external ventricular drainage due to obstructive hydrocephalus commonly remain shunt-dependent. Based on identified risk factors for external ventricular drain (EVD) challenge failure, the authors sought to determine the likelihood that a patient will require a permanent shunt.

Methods

The authors reviewed 89 consecutive cases of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage with obstructive hydrocephalus for parameters associated with EVD challenge failure and permanent shunt requirement. Significant parameters were combined in a discriminant function analysis to create a failure risk index (FRI). Linear regression analysis was performed correlating the FRI with the actual rate of shunt dependency.

Results

Patients requiring a permanent shunt had: a larger third ventricular diameter (7.0 vs 5.4 mm; p = 0.02) and a higher Hunt and Hess grade (3 vs 2; p = 0.02) at the time of admission; and a larger third ventricular diameter (6.6 vs 5.2 mm; p = 0.04), a larger bicaudate diameter (31.9 vs 30.2 mm; p = 0.03), and higher CSF protein levels (76.5 vs 40.3 mg/dl; p < 0.0001) at the onset of EVD challenge. These patients were also more likely to be female (p = 0.01) and have a posterior circulation location of their aneurysm (p = 0.01). The FRI score was calculated based on a weighted combination of the above parameters. Linear regression analysis between FRI values and the percentage of patients who required a permanent shunt had a correlation coefficient of 91%; the risk of a permanent shunt requirement increased linearly with a rising FRI score.

Conclusions

An FRI score created by discriminant function analysis can predict whether or not a permanent shunt is required, even if separate factors are not in agreement with each other or show a weak correlation when considered separately. An increased FRI score was strongly and linearly correlated with the risk of EVD challenge failure. A prospective study is necessary to validate the FRI.

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Michael L. J. Apuzzo, William R. Dobkin, Chi-Shing Zee, James C. Chan, Steven L. Giannotta and Martin H. Weiss

✓ Infestations of the human brain with the larval stage of Taenia solium, once an infrequent diagnosis in the United States, is now a more frequently encountered clinical entity especially in population centers with high immigrant flux. During a recent 5-year period 45 cases of intraventricular cysticercosis have been evaluated and treated. Modes of involvement included isolated cyst formation, ependymitis, or combinations of both. Evidence of associated parenchymatous involvement was present in 20% of cases. Sites of infestation included the lateral ventricle (five cases), third ventricle (12 cases), Sylvian aqueduct (four cases), and fourth ventricle (24 cases). Mean post-therapy follow-up periods for this series exceed 36 months. This experience indicates that direct excision is the treatment of choice for ventricular cystic lesions, but that management, operative planning, and expectations should be influenced by considerations of: 1) the potential for acute clinical deterioration (38%); 2) the potential for cyst migration; 3) attendant ependymitis, defined by computerized tomography or verified at surgery; 4) the potential for increase in cyst volume with local mass effect; 5) selection and institution of corridors of surgical access that establish alternative routes of cerebrospinal fluid flow; and 6) the possibility of cyst excision by a stereotaxic endoscopic procedure.

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Michael W. Chan, Isabelle Thibault, Eshetu G. Atenafu, Eugene Yu, B. C. John Cho, Daniel Letourneau, Young Lee, Albert Yee, Michael G. Fehlings and Arjun Sahgal

OBJECT

The authors performed a pattern-of-failure analysis, with a focus on epidural disease progression, in patients treated with postoperative spine stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).

METHODS

Of the 70 patients with 75 spinal metastases (cases) treated with postoperative spine SBRT, there were 26 cases of local disease recurrence and 25 cases with a component of epidural disease progression. Twenty-four of the 25 cases had preoperative epidural disease with subsequent epidural disease progression, and this cohort was the focus of this epidural-specific pattern-of-failure investigation. Preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up MRI scans were reviewed, and epidural disease was characterized based on location according to a system in which the vertebral anatomy is divided into 6 sectors, with the anterior compartment comprising Sectors 1, 2, and 6, and the posterior compartment comprising Sectors 3, 4, and 5.

RESULTS

Patterns of epidural progression are reported specifically for the 24 cases with preoperative epidural disease and subsequent epidural progression. Epidural disease progression within the posterior compartment was observed to be significantly lower in those with preoperative epidural disease confined to the anterior compartment than in those with preoperative epidural disease involving both anterior and posterior compartments (56% vs 93%, respectively; p = 0.047). In a high proportion of patients with epidural disease progression, treatment failure was found in the anterior compartment, including both those with preoperative epidural disease confined to the anterior compartment and those with preoperative epidural disease involving both anterior and posterior compartments (100% vs. 73%, respectively). When epidural disease was confined to the anterior compartment on the preoperative and postoperative MRIs, no epidural disease progression was observed in Sector 4, which is the most posterior sector. Postoperative epidural disease characteristics alone were not predictive of the pattern of epidural treatment failure.

CONCLUSIONS

Reviewing the extent of epidural disease on preoperative MRI is imperative when planning postoperative SBRT. When epidural disease is confined to the anterior epidural sectors pre- and postoperatively, covering the entire epidural space circumferentially with a prophylactic “donut” distribution may not be needed.

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Corbin A. Helis, Emory McTyre, Michael T. Munley, J. Daniel Bourland, John T. Lucas Jr., Christina K. Cramer, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton and Michael D. Chan

OBJECTIVE

A small subset of patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) will experience bilateral symptoms. Treatment in these patients is controversial because the population is heterogeneous and patients may have nonvascular etiologies of their pain. This study reports treatment outcomes in the largest cohort of patients with bilateral TN who have undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) to date.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review identified 51 individual nerves in 34 patients with bilateral TN who were treated with GKRS at the authors’ institution between 2001 and 2015, with 12 nerves in 11 patients undergoing repeat GKRS for recurrent or persistent symptoms. Long-term follow-up was obtained by telephone interview. Pain outcomes were measured using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain scale, with BNI IIIb or better considered a successful treatment.

RESULTS

There was sufficient follow-up to determine treatment outcomes for 48 individual nerves in 33 patients. Of these nerves, 42 (88%) achieved at least BNI IIIb pain relief. The median duration of pain relief was 1.9 years, and 1-, 3-, and 5-year pain relief rates were 64%, 44%, and 44%, respectively. No patients experienced bothersome facial numbness, and 1 case of anesthesia dolorosa and 2 cases of corneal dryness were reported. Patients with a history of definite or possible multiple sclerosis were significantly more likely to experience BNI IV–V relapse. There was no statistically significant difference in treatment outcomes between patients in this series versus a large cohort of patients with unilateral TN treated at the authors’ institution. There was sufficient follow-up to determine treatment outcomes for 11 individual nerves in 10 patients treated with repeat GKRS. Ten nerves (91%) improved to at least BNI IIIb after treatment. The median duration of pain relief was 2.8 years, with 1-, 3-, and 5-year rates of pain relief of 79%, 53%, and 53%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in outcomes between initial and repeat GKRS. One case of bothersome facial numbness and 1 case of corneal dryness were reported, with no patients developing anesthesia dolorosa with retreatment.

CONCLUSIONS

GKRS is a safe, well-tolerated treatment for patients with medically refractory bilateral TN. Efficacy of treatment appears similar to that in patients with unilateral TN. GKRS can be safely repeated in this population if necessary.

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Will H. McKay, Emory R. McTyre, Catherine Okoukoni, Natalie K. Alphonse-Sullivan, Jimmy Ruiz, Michael T. Munley, Shadi Qasem, Hui-Wen Lo, Fei Xing, Adrian W. Laxton, Stephen B. Tatter, Kounosuke Watabe and Michael D. Chan

OBJECTIVE

There are a variety of salvage options available for patients with brain metastases who experience local failure after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). These options include resection, whole-brain radiation therapy, laser thermoablation, and repeat SRS. There is little data on the safety and efficacy of repeat SRS following local failure of a prior radiosurgical procedure. This study evaluates the clinical outcomes and dosimetric characteristics of patients who experienced tumor recurrence and were subsequently treated with repeat SRS.

METHODS

Between 2002 and 2015, 32 patients were treated with repeat SRS for local recurrence of ≥ 1 brain metastasis following initial SRS treatment. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate time-to-event outcomes including overall survival (OS), local failure, and radiation necrosis. Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed for predictor variables of interest for each outcome. Composite dose-volume histograms were constructed for each reirradiated lesion, and these were then used to develop a predictive dosimetric model for radiation necrosis.

RESULTS

Forty-six lesions in 32 patients were re-treated with a second course of SRS after local failure. A median dose of 20 Gy (range 14–22 Gy) was delivered to the tumor margin at the time of repeat SRS. Local control at 1 year was 79% (95% CI 67%–94%). Estimated 1-year OS was 70% (95% CI 55%–88%). Twelve patients had died at the most recent follow-up, with 8/12 patients experiencing neurological death (as described in Patchell et al.). Eleven of 46 (24%) lesions in 11 separate patients treated with repeat SRS were associated with symptomatic radiation necrosis. Freedom from radiation necrosis at 1 year was 71% (95% CI 57%–88%). Analysis of dosimetric data revealed that the volume of a lesion receiving 40 Gy (V40Gy) was the most predictive factor for the development of radiation necrosis (p = 0.003). The following V40Gy thresholds were associated with 10%, 20%, and 50% probabilities of radiation necrosis, respectively: 0.28 cm3 (95% CI 3%–28%), 0.76 cm3 (95% CI 9%–39%), 1.60 cm3 (95% CI 26%–74%).

CONCLUSIONS

Repeat SRS appears to be an effective salvage option for patients with brain metastases experiencing local failure following initial SRS treatment. This series demonstrates durable local control and, although rates of radiation necrosis are significant, repeat SRS may be indicated for select cases of local disease recurrence. Because the V40Gy is predictive of radiation necrosis, limiting this value during treatment planning may allow for a reduction in radiation necrosis rates.

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Elizabeth N. Kuhn, Glen B. Taksler, Orrin Dayton, Amritraj G. Loganathan, Tamara Z. Vern-Gross, J. Daniel Bourland, Adrian W. Laxton, Michael D. Chan and Stephen B. Tatter

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate patterns of failure after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for meningiomas and factors that may influence these outcomes.

Methods

Based on a retrospective chart review, 279 patients were treated with SRS for meningiomas between January 1999 and March 2011 at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Disease progression was determined using serial imaging, with a minimum follow-up of 6 months (median 34.2 months).

Results

The median margin dose was 12.0 Gy (range 8.8–20 Gy). Local control rates for WHO Grade I tumors were 96.6%, 84.4%, and 75.7% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. WHO Grade II and III tumors had local control rates of 72.3%, 57.7%, and 52.9% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Tumors without pathological grading had local control rates of 98.7%, 97.6%, and 94.2% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Of the local recurrences, 63.1% were classified as marginal (within 2 cm of treatment field). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year rates of distant failure were 6.5%, 10.3%, and 16.6%, respectively, for Grade I tumors and 11.4%, 17.2%, and 22.4%, respectively, for Grade II/III tumors. Tumors without pathological grading had distant failure rates of 0.7%, 3.2%, and 6.5% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. Wilcoxon analysis revealed that multifocal disease (p < 0.001) and high-grade histology (WHO Grade II or III; p < 0.001) were significant predictors of local recurrence. Additionally, male sex was a significant predictor of distant recurrence (p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis also showed that doses greater than or equal to 12 Gy were associated with improved local control (p = 0.015).

Conclusions

In this patient series, 12 Gy was the minimum sufficient margin dose for the treatment of meningiomas. Male sex is a risk factor for distant failure, whereas high-grade histology and multifocal disease are risk factors for local failure.