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Ling-Wei Wang, Cheng-Ying Shiau, Wen-Yuh Chung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wan-Yuo Guo, Kang-Du Liu, Donald Ming-tak Ho, Tai-Tong Wong, and David Hung-Chi Pan

Object

The authors report the long-term treatment results of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for patients with low-grade astrocytomas who underwent surgery at a single institution.

Methods

A series of 21 patients (median age 20 years) with 25 intracranial low-grade astrocytomas (World Health Organization Grades I and II) were treated with GKS between 1993 and 2003. Among them, four underwent GKS as a primary treatment. Two underwent GKS as a treatment boost after radiotherapy. In the other 15 patients, GKS was performed as an adjuvant or salvage treatment for residual/recurrent tumors after the patients had undergone craniotomy. Tumor volumes ranged from 0.2 to 13.3 ml (median 2.4 ml). Prescription margin doses ranged from 8 to 18 Gy (median 14.5 Gy). Radiation volumes were 1.3 to 21.6 ml (median 3.6 ml). Patients underwent regular follow up, with neurological evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging studies obtained at 6-month intervals.

One patient was lost to follow-up. The clinical follow-up time was 5 to 144 months (median 67 months). Complete tumor remission was seen in three patients. The 10-year progression-free patient survival rate after GKS was 65%. Tumor progression was found in six patients of whom five received further salvage treatment. All the tumor progression occurred within the GKS-treated volumes. Mild-to-moderate adverse radiation effects (AREs) were found in eight patients. Both of the patients who had undergone GKS as a treatment boost after radiotherapy developed AREs, but with good shrinkage of tumors.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery provides durable long-term local tumor control with acceptable toxicity for some patients with highly selected low-grade astrocytomas.

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Dennis R. Buis and W. Peter Vandertop

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Wan-Yuo Guo, Shigeki Ono, Shizuo Oi, Shu-Huei Shen, Tai-Tong Wong, Hsiao-Wen Chung, and Jeng-Hsiu Hung

Object

The authors present a novel cine magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, two-dimensional (2D) fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition (FIESTA) technique with parallel imaging. It achieves temporal resolution at less than half a second as well as high spatial resolution cine imaging free of motion artifacts for evaluating the dynamic motion of fetuses in utero. The information obtained is used to predict postnatal outcome.

Methods

Twenty-five fetuses with anomalies were studied. Ultrasonography demonstrated severe abnormalities in five of the fetuses; the other 20 fetuses constituted a control group. The cine fetal MR imaging demonstrated fetal head, neck, trunk, extremity, and finger as well as swallowing motions. Imaging findings were evaluated and compared in fetuses with major central nervous system (CNS) anomalies in five cases and minor CNS, non-CNS, or no anomalies in 20 cases. Normal motility was observed in the latter group. For fetuses in the former group, those with abnormal motility failed to survive after delivery, whereas those with normal motility survived with functioning preserved. The power deposition of radiofrequency, presented as specific absorption rate (SAR), was calculated. The SAR of FIESTA was approximately 13 times lower than that of conventional MR imaging of fetuses obtained using single-shot fast spin echo sequences.

Conclusions

The following conclusions are drawn: 1) Fetal motion is no longer a limitation for prenatal imaging after the implementation of parallel imaging with 2D FIESTA, 2) Cine MR imaging illustrates fetal motion in utero with high clinical reliability, 3) For cases involving major CNS anomalies, cine MR imaging provides information on extremity motility in fetuses and serves as a prognostic indicator of postnatal outcome, and 4) The cine MR used to observe fetal activity is technically 2D and conceptually three-dimensional. It provides four-dimensional information for making proper and timely obstetrical and/or postnatal management decisions.

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Chun-Lung Chou, Hsin-Hung Chen, Huai-Che Yang, Yi-Wei Chen, Ching-Jen Chen, Yu-Wei Chen, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wan-Yuo Guo, David Hung-Chi Pan, Wen-Yuh Chung, Tai-Tong Wong, and Cheng-Chia Lee

OBJECTIVE

Hypothalamic obesity is common among patients with craniopharyngioma. This study examined whether precise stereotactic radiosurgery reduces the risk of hypothalamic obesity in cases of craniopharyngioma with expected long-term survival.

METHODS

This cohort study included 40 patients who had undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS; n = 22) or fractionated radiotherapy (FRT; n = 18) for residual or recurrent craniopharyngioma. Neurological presentations, tumor volume changes, and BMI values were meticulously reviewed. The median clinical follow-up durations were 9.7 years in the GKRS group and 10.8 years in the FRT group.

RESULTS

The median ages at the time of GKRS and FRT were 9.0 years and 10.0 years, respectively. The median margin dose of GKRS was 12.0 Gy (range 10.0–16.0 Gy), whereas the median dose of FRT was 50.40 Gy (range 44.1–56.3 Gy). Prior to GKRS or FRT, the median BMI values were 20.5 kg/m2 in the GKRS cohort and 20.0 kg/m2 in the FRT cohort. The median BMIs after radiation therapy at final follow-up were 21.0 kg/m2 and 24.0 kg/m2 for the GKRS and FRT cohorts, respectively. In the FRT cohort, BMI curves rapidly increased beyond the 85th percentile of the upper limit of the general population. BMI curves in the GKRS cohort increased more gradually, and many of the patients merged into the normal growth curve after adolescence. However, the observed difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.409).

CONCLUSIONS

The study compared the two adjuvant radiation modalities most commonly used for recurrent and residual craniopharyngioma. The authors’ results revealed that precise radiosurgery dose planning can mediate the subsequent increase in BMI. There is every indication that meticulous GKRS treatment is an effective approach to treating craniopharyngioma while also reducing the risk of hypothalamic obesity.

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David Hung-Chi Pan, Yu-Hung Kuo, Wan-Yuo Guo, Wen-Yuh Chung, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Kang-Du Liu, Yue-Cune Chang, Ling-Wei Wang, and Tai-Tong Wong

Object

Studies on the efficacy of arteriovenous malformation (AVM) radiosurgery have largely been conducted in the adult population. Clinically, the results may not always be applicable to pediatric patients. Moreover, studies involving the pediatric population have largely comprised small- (< 3 cm3) and medium-sized (3–10 cm3) AVMs. For large (> 10 cm3) AVMs in children, sparse radiosurgical results are available. The current study was conducted to further clarify the role of radiosurgery in the treatment of pediatric AVMs.

Methods

A retrospective analysis was performed of data obtained in 105 pediatric patients (< 18 years of age) with cerebral AVMs treated by Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) between 1993 and 2006. For statistical comparison the authors studied data acquired in 458 adult patients with AVMs treated during the same period. The patients underwent follow-up magnetic resonance imaging at 6-month intervals. Cerebral angiography was used to confirm the obliteration of the AVM.

Results

In pediatric patients, the AVM obliteration rate at 48 months after a primary GKS was 65%. Repeated GKS in those in whom primary treatments failed further ablated some AVMs, for an overall obliteration rate of 81%. The efficacy of GKS correlated with the size of the AVM: 91% for small, 86% for medium, and 64% for large AVMs. The treatments were associated with an 8% morbidity rate and < 1% mortality rate. Posttreatment hemorrhage occurred in 4 (4%) of 105 patients. Obliteration rates at 48 months of small and extremely large (> 20 cm3) AVMs were similar in the pediatric and adult groups, whereas AVMs between 3 and 10 cm3 responded less efficaciously in children (p = 0.042). The AVMs with volumes ranging from 10 to 20 cm3 were also associated with a lower obliteration rate in children at 48 months, but statistical significance was not reached (p = 0.279).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is an effective and safe treatment alternative for pediatric AVMs. The medium (3–10-cm3) and large (10–20-cm3) AVMs tend to respond less efficaciously than those of comparable size in adults.