Magnetic resonance–guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) is a novel, minimally invasive treatment that has multiple advantages in pediatric use and broad applicability for different types of lesions. Here, the authors report the preliminary results of the first series of pediatric brain tumors treated with MRgLITT at Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, New York.
Pediatric brain tumors treated with MRgLITT between February 2012 and August 2014 at Golisano Children's Hospital were evaluated retrospectively. Medical records, radiological findings, surgical data, complications, and results of tumor volumetric analyses were reviewed. The Visualase thermal laser system (Medtronic) was used in all MRgLITT procedures.
This series included 11 patients with 12 tumors (pilocytic astrocytoma, ependymoma, medulloblastoma, choroid plexus xanthogranuloma, subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, and ganglioglioma). A single laser and multiple overlapping ablations were used for all procedures. The mean laser dose was 10.23 W, and the mean total ablation time was 68.95 seconds. The mean initial target volume was 6.79 cm3, and the mean immediate post-ablation volume was 7.86 cm3. The mean hospital stay was 3.25 days, and the mean follow-up time was 24.5 months. Tumor volume decreased in the first 3 months after surgery (n = 11; p = 0.007) and continued to decrease by the 4- to 6-month followup (n = 11; mean volume 2.61 cm3; p = 0.009). Two patients experienced post-ablation complications: transient right leg weakness in one patient, and transient hemiparesis, akinetic mutism, and eye movement disorder in the other.
Magnetic resonance–guided laser interstitial thermal therapy is an effective first- or second-line treatment for select pediatric brain tumors. Larger multiinstitutional clinical trials are necessary to evaluate its use for different types of lesions to further standardize practices.