Gamma knife radiosurgery in 11 hemangioblastomas

Mika Niemelä M.D.1, Young Jin Lim M.D., Ph.D.1, Michael Söderman M.D.1, Juha Jääskeläinen M.D., Ph.D.1, and Christer Lindquist M.D., Ph.D.1
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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Neurosurgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Korea; and Department of Neuroradiology and The Gamma Knife Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
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✓ One suprasellar, one mesencephalic, and nine cerebellar hemangioblastomas were treated with the gamma knife in 10 patients (median age 48 years) in Stockholm between 1978 and 1993. Four patients had von Hippel—Lindau disease, a dominant inherited trait predisposing to multiple hemangioblastomas. Six hemangioblastomas were treated with radiotherapy at a median margin dose of 25 Gy (20–35 Gy) before 1990 and the next five with a median of 10 Gy (5–19 Gy). Computerized tomography or magnetic resonance images were available for 10 of the 11 hemangioblastomas at a median follow-up time of 26 months (4–68 months) after radiosurgery. The solid part of six hemangioblastomas shrank in a median of 30 months, whereas four hemangioblastomas were unchanged at a median of 14 months. Five hemangioblastomas had an adjoining cyst and three of these cysts had to be evacuated after radiosurgery. One solitary hemangioblastoma later developed a de novo cyst that also needed evacuation. One patient with two cerebellar hemangioblastomas (margin dose 25 Gy each) developed edema at 6 months and required a shunt and prolonged corticosteroid treatment. The combined follow-up data of the 23 hemangioblastomas in 15 patients from previous literature and the present series indicate that, first, a solitary small- or medium-sized hemangioblastoma usually shrinks or stops growing after radiosurgery. The recommended margin dose is 10 to 15 Gy. Second, the adjoining cyst often does not respond to radiosurgery but requires later, sometimes repeated evacuation.

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