The role of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has expanded worldwide during the past 3 decades. The authors sought to evaluate whether experienced users vary in their estimate of its potential use.
Sixty-six current Gamma Knife users from 24 countries responded to an electronic survey. They estimated the potential role of GKRS for benign and malignant tumors, vascular malformations, and functional disorders. These estimates were compared with published disease epidemiological statistics and the 2014 use reports provided by the Leksell Gamma Knife Society (16,750 cases).
Respondents reported no significant variation in the estimated use in many conditions for which GKRS is performed: meningiomas, vestibular schwannomas, and arteriovenous malformations. Significant variance in the estimated use of GKRS was noted for pituitary tumors, craniopharyngiomas, and cavernous malformations. For many current indications, the authors found significant variance in GKRS users based in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Experts estimated that GKRS was used in only 8.5% of the 196,000 eligible cases in 2014.
Although there was a general worldwide consensus regarding many major indications for GKRS, significant variability was noted for several more controversial roles. This expert opinion survey also suggested that GKRS is significantly underutilized for many current diagnoses, especially in the Americas. Future studies should be conducted to investigate health care barriers to GKRS for many patients.