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Constantin Tuleasca, Iulia Peciu-Florianu, Henri-Arthur Leroy, Maximilien Vermandel, Mohamed Faouzi and Nicolas Reyns

OBJECTIVE

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) present no pathologic tissue, and radiation dose is confined in a clear targeted volume. The authors retrospectively evaluated the role of the biologically effective dose (BED) after Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for brain AVMs.

METHODS

A total of 149 consecutive cases of unruptured AVMs treated by upfront GKRS in Lille University Hospital, France, were included. The mean length of follow-up was 52.9 months (median 48, range 12–154 months). The primary outcome was obliteration, and the secondary outcome was complication appearance. The marginal dose was 24 Gy in a vast majority of cases (n = 115, 77.2%; range 18–25 Gy). The mean BED was 220.1 Gy2.47 (median 229.9, range 106.7–246.8 Gy2.47). The mean beam-on time was 32.3 minutes (median 30.8, range 9–138.7 minutes). In the present series, the mean radiation dose rate was 2.259 Gy/min (median 2.176, range 1.313–3.665 Gy/min). The Virginia score was 0 in 29 (19.5%), 1 in 61 (40.9%), 2 in 41 (27.5%), 3 in 18 (12.1%), and 4 in 0 (0%) patients, respectively. The mean Pollock-Flickinger score was 1.11 (median 1.52, range 0.4–2.9). Univariate (for obliteration and complication appearance) and multivariate (for obliteration only) analyses were performed.

RESULTS

A total of 104 AVMs (69.8%) were obliterated at the last follow-up. The strongest predictor for obliteration was BED (p = 0.03). A radiosurgical obliteration score is proposed, derived from a fitted multivariable model: (0.018 × BED) + (1.58 × V12) + (−0.013689 × beam-on time) + (0.021 × age) − 4.38. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.7438; after internal validation using bootstrap methods, it was 0.7088. No statistically significant relationship between radiation dose rate and obliteration was found (p = 0.29). Twenty-eight (18.8%) patients developed complications after GKRS; 20 (13.4%) of these patients had transient adverse radiological effects (perilesional edema developed). Predictors for complication appearance were higher prescription isodose volume (p = 0.005) and 12-Gy isodose line volume (V12; p = 0.001), higher Pollock-Flickinger (p = 0.02) and Virginia scores (p = 0.003), and lower beam-on time (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The BED was the strongest predictor of obliteration of unruptured AVMs after upfront GKRS. A radiosurgical score comprising the BED is proposed. The V12 appears as a predictor for both efficacy and toxicity. Beam-on time was illustrated as statistically significant for both obliteration and complication appearance. The radiation dose rate did not influence obliteration in the current analysis. The exact BED threshold remains to be established by further studies.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Laura Negretti, Mohamed Faouzi, Vera Magaddino, Thierry Gevaert, Erik von Elm and Marc Levivier

OBJECTIVE

The authors present a retrospective analysis of a single-center experience with treatment of brain metastases using Gamma Knife (GK) and linear accelerator (LINAC)–based radiosurgery and compare the results.

METHODS

From July 2010 to July 2012, 63 patients with brain metastases were treated with radiosurgery. Among them, 28 (with 83 lesions) were treated with a GK unit and 35 (with 47 lesions) with a LINAC. The primary outcome was local progression–free survival (LPFS), evaluated on a per-lesion basis. The secondary outcome was overall survival (OS), evaluated per patient. Statistical analysis included standard tests and Cox regression with shared-frailty models to account for the within-patient correlation.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up period was 11.7 months (median 7.9 months, range 1.7–32 months) for GK and 18.1 months (median 17 months, range 7.5–28.7 months) for LINAC. The median number of lesions per patient was 2.5 (range 1–9) in the GK group and 1 (range 1–3) in the LINAC group (p < 0.01, 2-sample t-test). There were more radioresistant lesions (e.g., melanoma) and more lesions located in functional areas in the GK group. Additional technical reasons for choosing GK instead of LINAC were limitations of LINAC movements, especially if lesions were located in the lower posterior fossa or multiple lesions were close to highly functional areas (e.g., the brainstem), precluding optimal dosimetry with LINAC. The median marginal dose was 24 Gy with GK and 20 Gy with LINAC (p < 0.01, 2-sample t-test). For GK, the actuarial LPFS rate at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 17 months was 96.96%, 96.96%, 96.96%, 88.1%, and 81.5%, remaining stable until 32 months. For LINAC the rate at 3, 6, 12, 17, 24, and 33 months was 91.5%, 91.5%, 91.5%, 79.9%, 55.5%, and 17.1% (log-rank p = 0.03). In the Cox regression with shared-frailty model, the risk of local progression in the LINAC group was almost twice that of the GK group (HR 1.92, p > 0.05). The mean OS was 16.0 months (95% CI 11.2–20.9 months) in the GK group, compared with 20.9 months (95% CI 16.4–25.3 months) in the LINAC group. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that a lower graded prognostic assessment (GPA) score, noncontrolled systemic status at last radiological assessment, and older age were associated with lower OS; after adjustment of these covariables by Cox regression, the OS was similar in the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective study comparing GK and LINAC-based radiosurgery for brain metastases, patients with more severe disease were treated by GK, including those harboring lesions of greater number, of radioresistant type, or in highly functional areas. The risk of local progression for the LINAC group was almost twice that in the GK group, although the difference was not statistically significant. Importantly, the OS rates were similar for the 2 groups, although GK was used in patients with more complex brain metastatic disease and with no other therapeutic alternative.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Jean Régis, Elena Najdenovska, Tatiana Witjas, Nadine Girard, Thomas Bolton, Francois Delaire, Marion Vincent, Mohamed Faouzi, Jean-Philippe Thiran, Meritxell Bach Cuadra, Marc Levivier and Dimitri Van de Ville

OBJECTIVE

Essential tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder. Drug-resistant ET can benefit from standard stereotactic deep brain stimulation or radiofrequency thalamotomy or, alternatively, minimally invasive techniques, including stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and high-intensity focused ultrasound, at the level of the ventral intermediate nucleus (Vim). The aim of the present study was to evaluate potential correlations between pretherapeutic interconnectivity (IC), as depicted on resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI), and MR signature volume at 1 year after Vim SRS for tremor, to be able to potentially identify hypo- and hyperresponders based only on pretherapeutic neuroimaging data.

METHODS

Seventeen consecutive patients with ET were included, who benefitted from left unilateral SRS thalamotomy (SRS-T) between September 2014 and August 2015. Standard tremor assessment and rs-fMRI were acquired pretherapeutically and 1 year after SRS-T. A healthy control group was also included (n = 12). Group-level independent component analysis (ICA; only n = 17 for pretherapeutic rs-fMRI) was applied. The mean MR signature volume was 0.125 ml (median 0.063 ml, range 0.002–0.600 ml). The authors correlated baseline IC with 1-year MR signatures within all networks. A 2-sample t-test at the level of each component was first performed in two groups: group 1 (n = 8, volume < 0.063 ml) and group 2 (n = 9, volume ≥ 0.063 ml). These groups did not statistically differ by age, duration of symptoms, baseline ADL score, ADL point decrease at 1 year, time to tremor arrest, or baseline tremor score on the treated hand (TSTH; p > 0.05). An ANOVA was then performed on each component, using individual subject-level maps and continuous values of 1-year MR signatures, correlated with pretherapeutic IC.

RESULTS

Using 2-sample t-tests, two networks were found to be statistically significant: network 3, including the brainstem, motor cerebellum, bilateral thalamus, and left supplementary motor area (SMA) (pFWE = 0.004, cluster size = 94), interconnected with the red nucleus (MNI −2, −22, −32); and network 9, including the brainstem, posterior insula, bilateral thalamus, and left SMA (pFWE = 0.002, cluster size = 106), interconnected with the left SMA (MNI 24, −28, 44). Higher pretherapeutic IC was associated with higher MR volumes, in a network including the anterior default-mode network and bilateral thalamus (ANOVA, pFWE = 0.004, cluster size = 73), interconnected with cerebellar lobule V (MNI −12, −70, −22). Moreover, in the same network, radiological hyporesponders presented with negative IC values.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings have clinical implications for predicting MR signature volumes after SRS-T. Here, using pretherapeutic MRI and data processing without prior hypothesis, the authors showed that pretherapeutic network interconnectivity strength predicts 1-year MR signature volumes following SRS-T.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Mercy George, Mohamed Faouzi, Luis Schiappacasse, Henri-Arthur Leroy, Michele Zeverino, Roy Thomas Daniel, Raphael Maire and Marc Levivier

OBJECTIVE

Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) represent a common indication of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). While most studies focus on the long-term morbidity and adverse radiation effects (AREs), none describe the acute clinical AREs that might appear on a short-term basis. These types of events are investigated, and their incidence, type, and outcomes are reported in the present paper.

METHODS

The included patients were treated between July 2010 and March 2016, underwent at least 6 months of follow-up, and presented with a disabling symptom during the first 6 months after GKS that affected their quality of life. The timing of appearance, as well as the type of main symptom and outcome, were noted. The prescribed dose was 12 Gy at the margin.

RESULTS

Thirty-five (22%) of 159 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria had acute clinical AREs. The mean followup period was 30 months (range 6–49.2 months). The mean time of appearance was 37.9 days (median 31 days; range 3–110 days). In patients with de novo symptoms, the more frequent symptoms were vertigo (n = 4; 11.4%) and gait disturbance (n = 3; 8.6%). The exacerbation of a preexisting symptom was more frequently related to hearing loss (n = 10; 28.6%), followed by gait disturbance (n = 7; 20%) and vertigo (n = 3, 8.6%). In the univariate logistic regression analysis, the following factors were statistically significant: age (p = 0.002; odds ratio [OR] 0.96), hearing at baseline by Gardner-Robertson (GR) class (p = 0.006; OR 0.21), pure tone average at baseline (p = 0.006; OR 0.97), and Koos grade at baseline (with Koos Grade I used as a reference) (for Koos Grade II, OR 0.17 and p = 0.002; for Koos Grade III, OR 0.42 and p = 0.05). The following were not statistically significant but showed a tendency toward significance: the number of isocenters (p = 0.06; OR 0.94) and the maximal dose received by the cochlea (p = 0.07; OR 0.74). Fractional polynomial regression analysis showed a nonlinear relationship between the outcome and the radiation dose rate (minimum reached at a cutoff of 2.5 Gy/minute) and the maximal vestibular dose (maximum reached at a cutoff of 8 Gy), but the small sample size precludes a detailed analysis of the former. The clinical acute AREs disappeared in 32 (91.4%) patients during the first 6 months after appearance. Permanent and somewhat disabling morbidity was found in 3 cases (1.9% from the whole series): 1 each with complete hearing loss (GR Class I before and V after), hemifacial spasm (persistent but alleviated), and dysgeusia.

CONCLUSIONS

Acute effects after radiosurgery for VS are not rare. They concern predominantly de novo vertigo and gait disturbance and the exacerbation of preexistent hearing loss. In de novo vestibular symptoms, a vestibular dose of more than 8 Gy is thought to play a role. In most cases, none of these effects are permanent, and they will ultimately improve or disappear with steroid therapy. Permanent AREs remain very rare.

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Constantin Tuleasca, Thomas A. W. Bolton, Jean Régis, Elena Najdenovska, Tatiana Witjas, Nadine Girard, Francois Delaire, Marion Vincent, Mohamed Faouzi, Jean-Philippe Thiran, Meritxell Bach Cuadra, Marc Levivier and Dimitri Van De Ville

OBJECTIVE

The tremor circuitry has commonly been hypothesized to be driven by one or multiple pacemakers within the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway, including the cerebellum, contralateral motor thalamus, and primary motor cortex. However, previous studies, using multiple methodologies, have advocated that tremor could be influenced by changes within the right extrastriate cortex, at both the structural and functional level. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the role of the extrastriate cortex in tremor generation and further arrest after left unilateral stereotactic radiosurgery thalamotomy (SRS-T).

METHODS

The authors considered 12 healthy controls (HCs, group 1); 15 patients with essential tremor (ET, right-sided, drug-resistant; group 2) before left unilateral SRS-T; and the same 15 patients (group 3) 1 year after the intervention, to account for delayed effects. Blood oxygenation level–dependent functional MRI during resting state was used to characterize the dynamic interactions of the right extrastriate cortex, comparing HC subjects against patients with ET before and 1 year after SRS-T. In particular, the authors applied coactivation pattern analysis to extract recurring whole-brain spatial patterns of brain activity over time.

RESULTS

The authors found 3 different sets of coactivating regions within the right extrastriate cortex in HCs and patients with pretherapeutic ET, reminiscent of the “cerebello-visuo-motor,” “thalamo-visuo-motor” (including the targeted thalamus), and “basal ganglia and extrastriate” networks. The occurrence of the first pattern was decreased in pretherapeutic ET compared to HCs, whereas the other two patterns showed increased occurrences. This suggests a misbalance between the more prominent cerebellar circuitry and the thalamo-visuo-motor and basal ganglia networks. Multiple regression analysis showed that pretherapeutic standard tremor scores negatively correlated with the increased occurrence of the thalamo-visuo-motor network, suggesting a compensatory pathophysiological trait. Clinical improvement after SRS-T was related to changes in occurrences of the basal ganglia and extrastriate cortex circuitry, which returned to HC values after the intervention, suggesting that the dynamics of the extrastriate cortex had a role in tremor generation and further arrest after the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

The data in this study point to a broader implication of the visual system in tremor generation, and not only through visual feedback, given its connections to the dorsal visual stream pathway and the cerebello-thalamo-cortical circuitry, with which its dynamic balance seems to be a crucial feature for reduced tremor. Furthermore, SRS-T seems to bring abnormal pretherapeutic connectivity of the extrastriate cortex to levels comparable to those of HC subjects.