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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Magnetic resonance imaging characteristics and the prediction of outcome of vestibular schwannomas following Gamma Knife radiosurgery

J Neurosurg 127:1384–1391, 2017

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is a promising treatment modality for patients with vestibular schwannomas (VSs), but a small percentage of patients have persistent postradiosurgical tumor growth. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical and quantitative MRI features of VS as predictors of long-term tumor control after GKS.

METHODS The authors performed a retrospective study of all patients with VS treated with GKS using the Leksell Gamma Knife Unit between 2005 and 2013 at their institution. A total of 187 patients who had a minimum of 24 months of clinical and radiological assessment after radiosurgery were included in this study. Those who underwent a craniotomy with tumor removal before and after GKS were excluded. Study patients comprised 85 (45.5%) males and 102 (54.5%) females, with a median age of 52.2 years (range 20.4–82.3 years). Tumor volumes, enhancing patterns, and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were measured by region of interest (ROI) analysis of the whole tumor by serial MRI before and after GKS.

RESULTS The median follow-up period was 60.8 months (range 24–128.9 months), and the median treated tumor volume was 3.54 cm3 (0.1–16.2 cm3). At last follow-up, imaging studies indicated that 150 tumors (80.2%) showed decreased tumor volume, 20 (10.7%) had stabilized, and 17 (9.1%) continued to grow following radiosurgery. The postradiosurgical outcome was not significantly correlated with pretreatment volumes or postradiosurgical enhancing patterns. Tumors that showed regression within the initial 12 months following radiosurgery were more likely to have a larger volume reduction ratio at last follow-up than those that did not (volume reduction ratio 55% vs 23.6%, respectively; p < 0.001). Compared with solid VSs, cystic VSs were more likely to regress or stabilize in the initial postradiosurgical 6–12-month period and during extended follow-up. Cystic VSs exhibited a greater volume reduction ratio at last follow-up (cystic vs solid: 67.6% ± 24.1% vs 31.8% ± 51.9%; p < 0.001). The mean preradiosurgical maximum ADC (ADCmax) values of all VSs were significantly higher for those with tumor regression or stabilization at last follow-up compared with those with progression (2.391 vs 1.826 × 10-3 mm2/sec; p = 0.010).

CONCLUSIONS Loss of central enhancement after radiosurgery was a common phenomenon, but it did not correlate with tumor volume outcome. Preradiosurgical MRI features including cystic components and ADCmax values can be helpful as predictors of treatment outcome.

Efficacy and outcomes of facial nerve–sparing treatment approach to cerebellopontine angle meningiomas

J Neurosurg 127:1231–1241, 2017

Advanced microsurgical techniques contribute to reduced morbidity and improved surgical management of meningiomas arising within the cerebellopontine angle (CPA). However, the goal of surgery has evolved to preserve the quality of the patient’s life, even if it means leaving residual tumor. Concurrently, Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has become an acceptable and effective treatment modality for newly diagnosed, recurrent, or progressive meningiomas of the CPA. The authors review their institutional experience with CPA meningiomas treated with GKRS, surgery, or a combination of surgery and GKRS. They specifically focus on rates of facial nerve preservation and characterize specific anatomical features of tumor location with respect to the internal auditory canal (IAC).

METHODS Medical records of 76 patients with radiographic evidence or a postoperative diagnosis of CPA meningioma, treated by a single surgeon between 1992 and 2016, were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with CPA meningiomas smaller than 2.5 cm in greatest dimension were treated with GKRS, while patients with tumors 2.5 cm or larger underwent facial nerve–sparing microsurgical resection where appropriate. Various patient, clinical, and tumor data were gathered. Anatomical features of the tumor origin as seen on preoperative imaging confirmed by intraoperative investigation were evaluated for prognostic significance. Facial nerve preservation rates were evaluated.

RESULTS According to our treatment paradigm, 51 (67.1%) patients underwent microsurgical resection and 25 (32.9%) patients underwent GKRS. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 34 (66.7%) patients, and subtotal resection (STR) in 17 (33.3%) patients. Tumors recurred in 12 (23.5%) patients initially treated surgically, requiring additional surgery and/or GKRS. Facial nerve function was unchanged or improved in 68 (89.5%) patients. Worsening facial nerve function occurred in 8 (10.5%) patients, all of whom had undergone microsurgical resection. Upfront treatment with GKRS for CPA meningiomas smaller than 2.5 cm was associated with preservation of facial nerve function in all patients over a median follow-up of 46 months, regardless of IAC invasion and tumor origin. Anatomical origin was associated with extent of resection but did not correlate with postoperative facial nerve function. Tumor size, extent of resection, and the presence of an arachnoid plane separating the tumor and the contents of the IAC were associated with postoperative facial nerve outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS CPA meningiomas remain challenging lesions to treat, given their proximity to critical neurovascular structures. GKRS is a safe and effective option for managing CPA meningiomas smaller than 2.5 cm without associated mass effect or acute neurological symptoms. Maximal safe resection with preservation of neurological function can be performed for tumors 2.5 cm or larger without significant risk of facial nerve dysfunction, and, when combined with GKRS for recurrence and/or progression, provides excellent disease control. Anatomical features of the tumor origin offer critical insights for optimizing facial nerve preservation in this cohort.

Control of vestibular schwannomas treated with Gamma Knife

vestibular-schwannoma

J Neurosurg 124:1619–1626, 2016

The authors of this study sought to assess tumor control and complication rates in a large cohort of patients who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for vestibular schwannoma (VS) and to identify predictors of tumor control. Methods The records of 420 patients treated with GKRS for VS with a median marginal dose of 11 Gy were retrospectively analyzed. Patients with neurofibromatosis Type 2 or who had undergone treatment for VS previously were excluded. The authors assessed tumor control and complication rates with chart review and used the Cox proportional hazards model to identify predictors of tumor control. Preservation of serviceable hearing, defined as Gardner-Robertson Class I–II, was evaluated in a subgroup of 71 patients with serviceable hearing at baseline and with available followup audiograms.

Results The median VS tumor volume was 1.4 cm3, and the median length of follow-up was 5.1 years. Actuarial 5- and 10-year tumor control rates were 91.3% and 84.8%, respectively. Only tumor volume was a statistically significant predictor of tumor control rate. The tumor control rate decreased from 94.1% for tumors smaller than 0.5 cm3 to 80.7% for tumors larger than 6 cm3. Thirteen patients (3.1%) had new or increased permanent trigeminal nerve neuropathy, 4 (1.0%) had new or increased permanent facial weakness, and 5 (1.2%) exhibited new or increased hydrocephalus requiring a shunting procedure. Actuarial 3-year and 5-year hearing preservation rates were 65% and 42%, respectively.

Conclusions The 5-year actuarial tumor control rate of 91.3% in this cohort of patients with VS compared slightly unfavorably with the rates reported in other large studies, but the complication and hearing preservation rates in this study were similar to those reported previously. Various factors may contribute to the observed differences in reported outcomes. These factors include variations in treatment indication and in the definition of treatment failure, as well as a lack of standardization of terminology and of evaluation of complications. Last, differences in dosimetric variables may also be an explanatory factor.

Safety and Efficacy of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for the Management of Koos Grade 4 Vestibular Schwannomas

Safety and Efficacy of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for the Management of Koos Grade 4 Vestibular Schwannomas

Neurosurgery 78:521–530, 2016

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is commonly used in treating small vestibular schwannomas; however, its use for larger vestibular schwannomas is still controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the long-term safety and efficacy of treating eligible Koos grade 4 vestibular schwannomas with GKRS.

METHODS: We conducted a single-center, retrospective evaluation of patient undergoing GKRS for Koos grade 4 vestibular schwannomas. We evaluated clinical, imaging, and treatment characteristics and assessed treatment outcome. Inclusion criteria were tumor size of ≥4 cm3 and follow-up of at least 6 months. Patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 were excluded. Primary outcomes measured were tumor control rate, hearing and facial function preservation rate, and complications. All possible factors were analyzed to assess clinical significance.

RESULTS: Sixty-eight patients met inclusion criteria. Median follow-up was 47 months (range, 6-125 months). Baseline hearing was serviceable in 60%. Median tumor volume at radiosurgery was 7.4 cm3 (range, 4-19 cm3). The median marginal dose used was 12 Gy at the 50% isodose line. Actuarial tumor control rates were 95% and 92% at 2 and 10 years, respectively. Actuarial serviceable hearing preservation rates were 89% and 49% at 2 and 5 years, respectively. Facial nerve preservation was 100%. Clinical complications included balance disturbance (11%), facial pain (10%), facial numbness (5%), and tinnitus (10%). Most complications were mild and transient. Hydrocephalus occurred in 3 patients, requiring ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion. Larger tumor size was significantly associated with persisting symptoms post-treatment.

CONCLUSION: Patients with Koos grade 4 vestibular schwannomas and minimal symptoms can be treated safely and effectively with GKRS.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

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