Intratumoral Hemorrhage in Vestibular Schwannomas After Stereotactic Radiosurgery: Multi-Institutional Study

Neurosurgery 94:289–296, 2024

Intratumoral hemorrhage (ITH) in vestibular schwannoma (VS) after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is exceedingly rare. The aim of this study was to define its incidence and describe its management and outcomes in this subset of patients.

METHODS: A retrospective multi-institutional study was conducted, screening 9565 patients with VS managed with SRS at 10 centers affiliated with the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation.

RESULTS: A total of 25 patients developed ITH (cumulative incidence of 0.26%) after SRS management, with a median ITH size of 1.2 cm3 . Most of the patients had Koos grade II-IV VS, and the median age was 62 years. After ITH development, 21 patients were observed, 2 had urgent surgical intervention, and 2 were initially observed and had late resection because of delayed hemorrhagic expansion and/or clinical deterioration. The histopathology of the resected tumors showed typical, benign VS histology without sclerosis, along with chronic inflammatory cells and multiple fragments of hemorrhage. At the last follow-up, 17 patients improved and 8 remained clinically stable.

CONCLUSION: ITH after SRS for VS is extremely rare but has various clinical manifestations and severity. The management paradigm should be individualized based on patient-specific factors, rapidity of clinical and/or radiographic progression, ITH expansion, and overall patient condition.

Repeat Gamma Knife radiosurgery for recurrent trigeminal neuralgia in patients with multiple sclerosis

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:15

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has emerged as an effective treatment option for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). To date, the outcomes of repeat GKRS for patients with TN and MS with recurrent pain have been investigated in a few patients. This study aims to report the outcomes and predictive factors of pain reduction for MS patients undergoing repeat GKRS for recurrent TN.

Methods Eighteen patients with MS underwent repeat GKRS for recurrent TN. A retrospective chart review and telephone interviews were conducted to determine background medical history, dosimetric data, and outcomes of the procedure. Facial pain and sensory function were evaluated using the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) scales.

Results Fifteen patients achieved a BNI pain score of IIIa or better, indicating pain reduction, within a median period of 21 days after repeat GKRS. The maximum dose for repeat GKRS ranged from 70 to 85 Gy. Pain recurred in 5 patients after a median period of 12 months after GKRS. Percentages of patients with pain reduction at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 years were 60%, 60%, 50%, 50%, and 50%, respectively. Older age at repeat GKRS predicted sustained pain reduction (P = 0.01). Seven patients developed facial sensory disturbances, which were bothersome in two patients.

Conclusions Repeat GKRS may be used as an effective treatment modality for prolonging the duration of pain reduction time in patients with MS and TN. After repeat GKRS, facial sensory disturbances are common; however, they are often not bothersome.

Clinical and Imaging Outcomes After Trigeminal Schwannoma Radiosurgery: Results From a Multicenter, International Cohort Study

Neurosurgery 94:165–173, 2024

An international, multicenter, retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the long-term clinical outcomes and tumor control rates after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for trigeminal schwannoma.

METHODS: Patient data (N = 309) were collected from 14 international radiosurgery centers. The median patient age was 50 years (range 11-87 years). Sixty patients (19%) had prior resections. Abnormal facial sensation was the commonest complaint (49%). The anatomic locations were root (N = 40), ganglion (N = 141), or dumbbell type (N = 128). The median tumor volume was 4 cc (range, 0.2-30.1 cc), and median margin dose was 13 Gy (range, 10-20 Gy). Factors associated with tumor control, symptom improvement, and adverse radiation events were assessed.

RESULTS: The median and mean time to last follow-up was 49 and 65 months (range 6–242 months). Greater than 5-year follow-up was available for 139 patients (45%), and 50 patients (16%) had longer than 10-year follow-up. The overall tumor control rate was 94.5%. Tumors regressed in 146 patients (47.2%), remained unchanged in 128 patients (41.4%), and stabilized after initial expansion in 20 patients (6.5%). Progression-free survival rates at 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years were 91%, 86%, and 80 %. Smaller tumor volume (less than 8 cc) was associated with significantly better progression-free survival (P = .02). Seventeen patients with sustained growth underwent further intervention at a median of 27 months (3-144 months). Symptom improvement was noted in 140 patients (45%) at a median of 7 months. In multivariate analysis primary, SRS (P = .003) and smaller tumor volume (P = .01) were associated with better symptom improvement. Adverse radiation events were documented in 29 patients (9%).

CONCLUSION: SRS was associated with long-term freedom (10 year) from additional management in 80% of patients. SRS proved to be a valuable salvage option after resection. When used as a primary management for smaller volume tumors, both clinical improvement and prevention of new deficits were optimized.

Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia Secondary to Multiple Sclerosis

Neurosurgery 93:453–461, 2023

The efficacy of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the relief of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is well established. Much less is known, however, about the benefit of SRS for multiple sclerosis (MS)–related TN (MS-TN). OBJECTIVE: To compare outcomes in patients who underwent SRS for MS-TN vs classical/idiopathic TN and identify relative risk factors for failure.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, case-control study of patients who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery at our center for MS-TN between October 2004 and November 2017. Cases were matched 1:1 to controls using a propensity score predicting MS probability using pretreatment variables. The final cohort consisted of 154 patients (77 cases and 77 controls). Baseline demographics, pain characteristics, and MRI features were collected before treatment. Pain evolution and complications were obtained at follow-up. Outcomes were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meir estimator and Cox regressions.

RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between both groups with regards to initial pain relief (modified Barrow National Institute IIIa or less), which was achieved in 77% of patients with MS and 69% of controls. In responders, 78% of patients with MS and 52% of controls eventually had recurrence. Pain recurred earlier in patients with MS (29 months) than in controls (75 months). Complications were similarly distributed in each group and consisted, in the MS group, of 3% of new bothersome facial hypoesthesia and 1% of new dysesthesia.

CONCLUSION: SRS is a safe and effective modality to achieve pain freedom in MS-TN. However, pain relief is significantly less durable than in matched controls without MS.

Gamma Knife Central Lateral Thalamotomy for Chronic Neuropathic Pain

Neurosurgery 92:363–369, 2023

Chronic neuropathic pain can be severely disabling and is difficult to treat. The medial thalamus is believed to be involved in the processing of the affectivemotivational dimension of pain, and lesioning of the medial thalamus has been used as a potential treatment for neuropathic pain. Within the medial thalamus, the central lateral nucleus has been considered as a target for stereotactic lesioning.

OBJECTIVE: To study the safety and efficacy of central lateral thalamotomy using Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients with neuropathic pain who underwent central lateral thalamotomy using GKRS. We report on patient outcomes, including changes in pain scores using the Numeric Pain Rating Scale and Barrow Neurological Institute pain intensity score, and adverse events.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients underwent central lateral thalamotomy using GKRS between 2014 and 2021. Meaningful pain reduction occurred in 12 patients (57%) after a median period of 3 months and persisted in 7 patients (33%) at the last follow-up (the median follow-up was 28 months). Rates of pain reduction at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years were 48%, 48%, 19%, and 19%, respectively. Meaningful pain reduction occurred more frequently in patients with trigeminal deafferentation pain compared with all other patients (P = .009). No patient had treatment-related adverse events.

CONCLUSION: Central lateral thalamotomy using GKRS is remarkably safe. Pain reduction after this procedure occurs in a subset of patients and is more frequent in those with trigeminal deafferentation pain; however, pain recurs frequently over time.


Stereotactic radiosurgery for intracranial chordomas: an international multiinstitutional study

J Neurosurg 137:977–984, 2022

The object of this study was to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and long-term outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of intracranial chordomas.

METHODS This retrospective multicenter study involved consecutive patients managed with single-session SRS for an intracranial chordoma at 10 participating centers. Radiological and neurological outcomes were assessed after SRS, and predictive factors were evaluated via statistical methodology.

RESULTS A total of 93 patients (56 males [60.2%], mean age 44.8 years [SD 16.6]) underwent single-session SRS for intracranial chordoma. SRS was utilized as adjuvant treatment in 77 (82.8%) cases, at recurrence in 13 (14.0%) cases, and as primary treatment in 3 (3.2%) cases. The mean tumor volume was 8 cm 3 (SD 7.3), and the mean prescription volume was 9.1 cm 3 (SD 8.7). The mean margin and maximum radiosurgical doses utilized were 17 Gy (SD 3.6) and 34.2 Gy (SD 6.4), respectively. On multivariate analysis, treatment failure due to tumor progression (p = 0.001) was associated with an increased risk for post-SRS neurological deterioration, and a maximum dose > 29 Gy (p = 0.006) was associated with a decreased risk. A maximum dose > 29 Gy was also associated with improved local tumor control (p = 0.02), whereas the presence of neurological deficits prior to SRS (p = 0.04) and an age > 65 years at SRS (p = 0.03) were associated with worse local tumor control. The 5- and 10-year tumor progression-free survival rates were 54.7% and 34.7%, respectively. An age > 65 years at SRS (p = 0.01) was associated with decreased overall survival. The 5and 10-year overall survival rates were 83% and 70%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS SRS appears to be a safe and relatively effective adjuvant management option for intracranial chordomas. The best outcomes were obtained in younger patients without significant neurological deficits. Further well-designed studies are necessary to define the best timing for the use of SRS in the multidisciplinary management of intracranial chordomas.

Long-Term Risks of Hemorrhage and Adverse Radiation Effects of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery 90:784–792, 2022

The information about long-term risks of hemorrhage and late adverse radiation effects (AREs) after stereotactic radiosurgery for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term risks of hemorrhage and late ARE rates in patients with AVM treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). METHODS: We examined 1249 patients with AVM treated with GKS. The Spetzler–Martin grade was I in 313 patients (25%), II in 394 (32%), III in 458 (37%), and IV/V in 84 (7%). The median treatment volume was 2.5 cm3, and the median marginal dose was 20 Gy.

RESULTS: The median follow-up period was 61 months. The 5- and 10-year nidus obliteration rates were 63% and 82%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year cumulative hemorrhage rates were 7% and 10%, respectively. The annual hemorrhage rate was 1.5% for the first 5 years post-GKS, which decreased to 0.5% thereafter. During the follow-up period, 42 symptomatic cyst formations/ chronic encapsulated hematomas ([CFs/CEHs], 3%) and 3 radiation-induced tumors (0.2%) were observed. The 10- and 15-year cumulative CF/CEH rates were 3.7% and 9.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: GKS is associated with reduced hemorrhage risk and high nidus obliteration rates in patients with AVM. The incidence of late AREs tended to increase over time. The most common ARE was CF/CEH, which can be safely removed; however, careful attention should be paid to the long-term development of fatal radiation-induced tumors.

Stereotactic radiosurgery as the primary management for patients with Koos grade IV vestibular schwannomas

J Neurosurg 135:1058–1066, 2021

While extensive long-term outcome studies support the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for smaller volume vestibular schwannomas (VSs), its role in the management for larger-volume tumors remains controversial.

METHODS Between 1987 and 2017, the authors performed single-session SRS on 170 patients with previously untreated Koos grade IV VSs (volumes ranged from 5 to 20 cm3). The median tumor volume was 7.4 cm3. The median maximum extracanalicular tumor diameter was 27.5 mm. All tumors compressed the middle cerebellar peduncle and distorted the fourth ventricle. Ninety-three patients were male, 77 were female, and the median age was 61 years. Sixtytwo patients had serviceable hearing (Gardner-Robertson [GR] grades I and II). The median margin dose was 12.5 Gy.

RESULTS At a median follow-up of 5.1 years, the progression-free survival rates of VSs treated with a margin dose ≥ 12.0 Gy were 98.4% at 3 years, 95.3% at 5 years, and 90.7% at 10 years. In contrast, the tumor control rate after delivery of a margin dose < 12.0 Gy was 76.9% at 3, 5, and 10 years. The hearing preservation rates in patients with serviceable hearing at the time of SRS were 58.1% at 3 years, 50.3% at 5 years, and 35.9% at 7 years. Younger age (< 60 years, p = 0.036) and initial GR grade I (p = 0.006) were associated with improved serviceable hearing preservation rate. Seven patients (4%) developed facial neuropathy during the follow-up interval. A smaller tumor volume (< 10 cm3, p = 0.002) and a lower margin dose (≤ 13.0 Gy, p < 0.001) were associated with preservation of facial nerve function. The probability of delayed facial neuropathy when the margin dose was ≤ 13.0 Gy was 1.1% at 10 years. Nine patients (5%) required a ventriculoperitoneal shunt because of delayed symptomatic hydrocephalus. Fifteen patients (9%) developed detectable trigeminal neuropathy. Delayed resection was performed in 4% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS Even for larger-volume VSs, single-session SRS prevented the need for delayed resection in almost 90% at 10 years. For patients with minimal symptoms of tumor mass effect, SRS should be considered an effective alternative to surgery in most patients, especially those with advanced age or medical comorbidities.

Outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery for hemorrhagic arteriovenous malformations with or without prior resection or embolization

J Neurosurg 135:733–741, 2021

The major concern about ruptured arteriovenous malformations (rAVMs) is recurrent hemorrhage, which tends to preclude stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) as a therapeutic modality for these brain malformations. In this study, the authors aimed to clarify the role of SRS for rAVM as a stand-alone modality and an adjunct for a remnant nidus after surgery or embolization.

METHODS Data on 410 consecutive patients with rAVMs treated with SRS were analyzed. The patients were classified into groups, according to prior interventions: SRS-alone, surgery and SRS (Surg-SRS), and embolization and SRS (Embol- SRS) groups. The outcomes of the SRS-alone group were analyzed in comparison with those of the other two groups.

RESULTS The obliteration rate was higher in the Surg-SRS group than in the SRS-alone group (5-year cumulative rate 97% vs 79%, p < 0.001), whereas no significant difference was observed between the Embol-SRS and SRS-alone groups. Prior resection (HR 1.78, 95% CI 1.30–2.43, p < 0.001), a maximum AVM diameter ≤ 20 mm (HR 1.81, 95% CI 1.43–2.30, p < 0.001), and a prescription dose ≥ 20 Gy (HR 2.04, 95% CI 1.28–3.27, p = 0.003) were associated with a better obliteration rate, as demonstrated by multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses. In the SRS-alone group, the annual post-SRS hemorrhage rates were 1.5% within 5 years and 0.2% thereafter and the 10-year significant neurological event–free rate was 95%; no intergroup difference was observed in either outcome. The exclusive performance of SRS (SRS alone) was not a risk for post-SRS hemorrhage or for significant neurological events based on multivariate analyses. These results were also confirmed with propensity score–matched analyses.

CONCLUSIONS The treatment strategy for rAVMs should be tailored with due consideration of multiple factors associated with the patients. Stand-alone SRS is effective for hemorrhagic AVMs, and the risk of post-SRS hemorrhage was low. SRS can also be favorably used for residual AVMs after initial interventions, especially after failed resection.

Surgery versus radiosurgery for facial nerve schwannoma

J Neurosurg 135:542–553, 2021

Intracranial facial nerve schwannomas (FNS) requiring treatment are frequently recommended for surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The objective of this study was to compare facial nerve function outcomes between these two interventions for FNS via a systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS A search of the Ovid EMBASE, PubMed, SCOPUS, and Cochrane databases from inception to July 2019 was conducted following PRISMA guidelines. Articles were screened against prespecified criteria. Facial nerve out- comes were classified as improved, stabilized, or worsened by last follow-up. Incidence was pooled by random-effects meta-analysis of proportions.

RESULTS Thirty-three articles with a pooled cohort of 519 patients with FNS satisfied all criteria. Twenty-five articles described operative outcomes in 407 (78%) patients; 10 articles reported SRS outcomes in 112 (22%). In the surgical cohort, facial nerve function improved in 23% (95% CI 15%–32%), stabilized in 41% (95% CI 32%–50%), and worsened in 30% (95% CI 21%–40%). In the SRS cohort, facial nerve function was improved in 20% (95% CI 9%–34%), stable in 66% (95% CI 54%–78%), and worsened in 9% (95% CI 3%–16%). Compared with SRS, microsurgery was associated with a significantly lower incidence of stable facial nerve function (p < 0.01) and a significantly higher incidence of wors- ened facial nerve function (p < 0.01). Tumor progression and complication rates were comparable. Outcome certainty assessments were very low to moderate for all parameters.

CONCLUSIONS Unfavorable facial nerve function outcomes are associated with surgical treatment of intracranial FNS, whereas stable facial nerve function outcomes are associated with SRS. Therefore, SRS should be recommended to patients with FNS who require treatment, and surgery should be reserved for patients with another indication, such as decompression of the brainstem. Further study is required to definitively optimize and validate management strategies for these rare skull base tumors.

Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy for the treatment of neuropathic pain

J Neurosurg 135:228–236, 2021

The goal of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of stereotactic central lateral thalamotomy with Gamma Knife radiosurgery in patients with neuropathic pain.

METHODS Clinical and radiosurgical data were prospectively collected and analyzed in patients with neuropathic pain who underwent Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy. The safety and efficacy of the lesioning procedure were evaluated by neurological examination and standardized scales for pain intensity and health-related quality of life. Visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), EuroQol–5 dimensions (EQ-5D), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, version 2 (SF-36v2) were measured during baseline and postoperative follow-up evaluations at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months.

RESULTS Eight patients with neuropathic pain underwent Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy. Four patients suffered from trigeminal deafferentation pain, 2 from brachial plexus injury, 1 from central poststroke facial neuropathic pain, and 1 from postherpetic neuralgia. No lesioning-related adverse effect was recorded during the follow-up periods. All patients had pain reduction following thalamotomy. The mean follow-up time was 24 months. At the last follow-up visits, 5 patients reported ≥ 50% VAS pain reduction. The overall mean VAS pain score was 9.4 (range 8–10) before radiosurgery. After 1 year, the mean VAS pain score decreased significantly, from 9.4 (range 8–10) to 5.5 (mean -41.33%, p = 0.01). MPQ scores significantly decreased (mean -22.18%, p = 0.014). Statistically significant improvements of the SF-36v2 quality of life survey (mean +48.16%, p = 0.012) and EQ-5D (+45.16%, p = 0.012) were observed. At 2 years after radiosurgery, the VAS pain score remained significantly reduced to a mean value of 5.5 (p = 0.027). Statistically significant improvements were also observed for the MPQ (mean -16.05%, p = 0.034); the EQ-5D (mean +35.48%, p = 0.028); and the SF-36v2 (mean +35.84%, p = 0.043). At the last follow-up visits, pain had recurred in 2 patients, who were suffering from central poststroke neuropathic pain and brachial plexus injury, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS Safe, nonpharmacological therapies are imperative for the management of refectory chronic pain conditions. The present series demonstrates that Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy is safe and potentially effective in the long term for relieving chronic neuropathic pain refractory to pharmacotherapy and for restoring quality of life.


Role of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in Small Cell Lung Cancer

Neurosurgery 87:664–671, 2020

Despite a high incidence of brain metastases in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), limited data exist on the use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), specifically Gamma Knife™ radiosurgery (Elekta AB), for SCLC brain metastases.

OBJECTIVE: To provide a detailed analysis of SCLC patients treated with SRS, focusing on local failure, distant brain failure, and overall survival (OS). METHODS: A multi-institutional retrospective review was performed on 293 patients undergoing SRS for SCLC brain metastases at 10 medical centers from 1991 to 2017. Data collectionwas performed according to individual institutional review boards, and analyses were performed using binary logistic regression, Cox-proportional hazardmodels, Kaplan- Meier survival analysis, and competing risks analysis.

RESULTS: Two hundred thirty-two (79%) patients received SRS as salvage following prior whole-brain irradiation (WBRT) or prophylactic cranial irradiation, with a median marginal dose of 18 Gy. At median follow-up after SRS of 6.4 and 18.0 mo for surviving patients, the 1-yr local failure, distant brain failure, and OS were 31%, 49%, and 28%. The interval between WBRT and SRS was predictive of improved OS for patients receiving SRS more than 1 yr after initial treatment (21%, <1 yr vs 36%, >1 yr, P = .01). On multivariate analysis, older age was the only significant predictor for OS (hazard ratio 1.63, 95% CI 1.16-2.29, P = .005).

CONCLUSION: SRS plays an important role in the management of brain metastases from SCLC, especially in salvage therapy following WBRT. Ongoing prospective trials will better assess the value of radiosurgery in the primary management of SCLC brainmetastases and potentially challenge the standard application of WBRT in SCLC patients.

Biologically effective dose and prediction of obliteration of unruptured arteriovenous malformations treated by upfront Gamma Knife radiosurgery: a series of 149 consecutive cases

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) present no pathologic tissue, and radiation dose is confined in a clear targeted volume. The authors retrospectively evaluated the role of the biologically effective dose (BED) after Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for brain AVMs.

METHODS A total of 149 consecutive cases of unruptured AVMs treated by upfront GKRS in Lille University Hospital, France, were included. The mean length of follow-up was 52.9 months (median 48, range 12–154 months). The primary outcome was obliteration, and the secondary outcome was complication appearance. The marginal dose was 24 Gy in a vast majority of cases (n = 115, 77.2%; range 18–25 Gy). The mean BED was 220.1 Gy2.47 (median 229.9, range 106.7–246.8 Gy2.47). The mean beam-on time was 32.3 minutes (median 30.8, range 9–138.7 minutes). In the present series, the mean radiation dose rate was 2.259 Gy/min (median 2.176, range 1.313–3.665 Gy/min). The Virginia score was 0 in 29 (19.5%), 1 in 61 (40.9%), 2 in 41 (27.5%), 3 in 18 (12.1%), and 4 in 0 (0%) patients, respectively. The mean Pollock-Flickinger score was 1.11 (median 1.52, range 0.4–2.9). Univariate (for obliteration and complication appearance) and multivariate (for obliteration only) analyses were performed.

RESULTS A total of 104 AVMs (69.8%) were obliterated at the last follow-up. The strongest predictor for obliteration was BED (p = 0.03). A radiosurgical obliteration score is proposed, derived from a fitted multivariable model: (0.018 × BED) + (1.58 × V12) + (−0.013689 × beam-on time) + (0.021 × age) − 4.38. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.7438; after internal validation using bootstrap methods, it was 0.7088. No statistically significant relationship between radiation dose rate and obliteration was found (p = 0.29). Twenty-eight (18.8%) patients developed complications after GKRS; 20 (13.4%) of these patients had transient adverse radiological effects (perilesional edema developed). Predictors for complication appearance were higher prescription isodose volume (p = 0.005) and 12-Gy isodose line volume (V12; p = 0.001), higher Pollock-Flickinger (p = 0.02) and Virginia scores (p = 0.003), and lower beam-on time (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS The BED was the strongest predictor of obliteration of unruptured AVMs after upfront GKRS. A radiosurgical score comprising the BED is proposed. The V12 appears as a predictor for both efficacy and toxicity. Beam-on time was illustrated as statistically significant for both obliteration and complication appearance. The radiation dose rate did not influence obliteration in the current analysis. The exact BED threshold remains to be established by further studies.


Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Cavernous Sinus Versus Noncavernous Sinus Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas: Outcomes and Outcome Predictors

Neurosurgery 86:676–684, 2020

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVFs) can be categorized based on location.

OBJECTIVE: To compare stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) outcomes between cavernous sinus (CS) and non-CS DAVFs and to identify respective outcome predictors.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study of DAVFs treated with SRS between 1988 and 2016 at 10 institutions. Patients’ variables, DAVF characters, and SRS parameters were included for analyses. Favorable clinical outcome was defined as angiography-confirmed obliterationwithout radiological radiation-induced changes (RIC) or post-SRS hemorrhage.Other outcomes were DAVFs obliteration and adverse events (including RIC, symptomatic RIC, and post-SRS hemorrhage).

RESULTS: The overall study cohort comprised 131 patients, including 20 patients with CS DAVFs (15%) and 111 patients with non-CS DAVFs (85%). Rates of favorable clinical outcome were comparable between the 2 groups (45% vs 37%, P = .824). Obliteration rate after SRS was higher in the CS DAVFs group, even adjusted for baseline difference (OR = 4.189, P = .044). Predictors of favorable clinical outcome included higher maximum dose (P = .014) for CS DAVFs. Symptomatic improvement was associated with obliteration in non-CS DAVFs (P = .005), but symptoms improved regardless of whether obliteration was confirmed in CS DAVFs. Non-CS DAVFs patients with adverse events after SRS were more likely to be male (P = .020), multiple arterial feeding fistulas (P = .018), and lower maximum dose (P = .041).

CONCLUSION: After SRS, CSDAVFs are more likely to obliterate than non-CS ones. Because these 2 groups have different total predictors for clinical and radiologic outcomes after SRS, they should be considered as different entities.

Is There a Need for a 6-Month Postradiosurgery Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Treatment of Vestibular Schwannoma?

Neurosurgery, Volume 86, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages 250–256

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a common treatment modality for vestibular schwannoma (VS), with a role in primary and recurrent/progressive algorithms. At our institution, routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is obtained at 6 and 12 mo following SRS for VS.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the safety and financial impact of eliminating the 6-mo post-SRS MRI in asymptomatic VS patients. METHODS: A prospectively maintained SRS database was retrospectively reviewed for VS patients with 1 yr of post-treatment follow-up, 2005 to 2015. Decisions at 6-mo MRI were binarily categorized as routine follow-up vs clinical action—defined as a clinical visit, additional imaging, or an operation as a direct result of the 6-mo study.

RESULTS: A total of 296 patients met screening criteria, of whom 53 were excluded for incomplete follow-up and 8 for NF-2. Nine were reimaged prior to 6 mo due to clinical symptoms. Routine 6-mo post-SRS MRI was completed by 226 patients (76% of screened cohort), following from which zero instances of clinical action occurred.When scaled using national insurance database-derived financials—which estimated the mean per-study charge for MRI of the brain with and without contrast at $1767—the potential annualized national charge reduction was approximated as $1 611 504.

CONCLUSION: For clinically stable VS, 6-mo post-SRS MRI does not contribute significantly to management. We recommend omitting routine MRI before 12 mo, in patients without new or progressive neurological symptoms. If extrapolated nationally to the more than 100 active SRS centers, thousands of patients would be spared an inconvenient, nonindicated study, and national savings in health care dollarswouldbe on the order ofmillions annually.

Stereotactic radiosurgery for arteriovenous malformations of the basal ganglia and thalamus: an international multicenter study

J Neurosurg 132:122–131, 2020

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the basal ganglia (BG) and thalamus are associated with elevated risks of both hemorrhage if left untreated and neurological morbidity after resection. Therefore, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become a mainstay in the management of these lesions, although its safety and efficacy remain incompletely understood. The aim of this retrospective multicenter cohort study was to evaluate the outcomes of SRS for BG and thalamic AVMs and determine predictors of successful endpoints and adverse radiation effects.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed data on patients with BG or thalamic AVMs who had undergone SRS at eight institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) from 1987 to 2014. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation- induced changes (RICs). Multivariable models were developed to identify independent predictors of outcome.

RESULTS The study cohort comprised 363 patients with BG or thalamic AVMs. The mean AVM volume and SRS margin dose were 3.8 cm3 and 20.7 Gy, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 86.5 months. Favorable outcome was achieved in 58.5% of patients, including obliteration in 64.8%, with rates of post-SRS hemorrhage and permanent RIC in 11.3% and 5.6% of patients, respectively. Independent predictors of favorable outcome were no prior AVM embolization (p = 0.011), a higher margin dose (p = 0.008), and fewer isocenters (p = 0.044).

CONCLUSIONS SRS is the preferred intervention for the majority of BG and thalamic AVMs. Patients with morphologically compact AVMs that have not been previously embolized are more likely to have a favorable outcome, which may be related to the use of a higher margin dose.


An International Radiosurgery Research Foundation Multicenter Retrospective Study of Gamma Ventral Capsulotomy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 6, December 2019, Pages 808–816

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) across its full spectrum of severity is a psychiatric illness affecting ∼2% to 3% of the general population and results in significant functional impairment. There are few large patient series regarding Gamma ventral capsulotomy (GVC).
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate clinical outcomes of severe medically refractory OCD treated with GVC.
METHODS: This is an international, multicenter, retrospective cohort study. Forty patients with pre-GVC Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) scores ≥ 24 (indicating severe OCD) were included. GVC was performed with 1 or 2 isocenters with a median maximum dose of 135 Gy (range, 120-180 Gy). Patients were deemed “responders” to GVC if there was ≥35% reduction of follow-up Y-BOCS scores, and considered in remission if their Y-BOCS scores were ≤16. The median follow-up was 36 mo (range, 6-96 mo).
RESULTS: The median pre-SRS Y-BOCS score was 35 (range, 24-40). Eighteen patients (45%) were considered “responders,” and 16 (40%) of them were in remission at their last follow-up. Nineteen patients (47.5%) remained stable with Y-BOCS of 33 (range, 26-36) following GVC, whereas 3 patients (7.5%) experienced worsening in Y-BOCS scores. Patients treated with 2 isocenters were more likely to have improvement in Y-BOCS score at 3 and 5 yr (P < .0005). Ten patients (25%) experienced post-GVC mood disturbance and neurological complications in 3 patients (7.5%). One patient developed radiation necrosis with edema that improved with steroids.
CONCLUSION: GVC serves as a reasonable treatment strategy for severe medical refractory OCD. Patients treated with 2 isocenters were more likely to have substantial improvement in OCD.

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Multiple Sclerosis-Associated Trigeminal Neuralgia


Neurosurgery 85:E933–E939, 2019

Trigeminal neuralgia in the setting of multiple sclerosis (MS-TN) is a challenging condition to manage that is commonly treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS; Elekta AB). However, data regarding the efficacy of this treatment are somewhat limited, particularly for repeat GKRS.

OBJECTIVE: To report outcomes of GKRS for MS-TN from a cohort study.

METHODS: Retrospective review of our GKRS database identified 77 cases of unilateral MS-TN (UMSTN) in 74 patients treated with GKRS between 2001 and 2016, with 37 cases undergoing repeat GKRS. Background medical history, treatment outcomes and complications, and dosimetric data were obtained by retrospective chart reviews and telephone interviews.

RESULTS:Eighty two percent of UMSTN cases achieved Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) IIIb or better pain relief following initial GKRS for a median duration of 1.1 yr. Estimated rates ofpainreliefat1,3,and5yr were 51,39,and29% respectively.Eighty-eightpercentachieved BNI IIIb or better pain relief after repeat GKRS for a median duration of 4.0 yr. Estimated rates of pain relief at 1 and 3 yr were 70 and 54%, respectively. Median doses for initial and repeat GKRS were 85 and 80 Gy to the 100% isodose line, respectively. Those with MS-TN had a shorter duration of BNI IIIb or better pain relief after initial (4.6 vs 1.1 yr), but not repeat GKRS (3.8 vs 4.0 yr) compared to a historical cohort from our institution.

CONCLUSION: GKRS is an effective, well-tolerated treatment for patientswith MS-TN. More durable relief is often achieved with repeat GKRS.


Comparing costs of microsurgical resection and stereotactic radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma

J Neurosurg 131:1395–1404, 2019

Given rising scrutiny of healthcare expenditures, understanding intervention costs is increasingly important. This study aimed to compare and characterize costs for vestibular schwannoma (VS) management with microsurgery and radiosurgery to inform practice decisions and appraise cost reduction strategies.

METHODS In conjunction with medical records, internal hospital financial data were used to evaluate costs. Total cost was divided into index costs (costs from arrival through discharge for initial intervention) and follow-up costs (through 36 months) for 317 patients with unilateral VSs undergoing initial management between June 2011 and December 2015. A retrospective matched cohort based on tumor size with 176 patients (88 undergoing each intervention) was created to objectively compare costs between microsurgery and radiosurgery. The full sample of 203 patients treated with resection and 114 patients who underwent radiosurgery was used to evaluate a broad range of outcomes and identify cost contributors within each intervention group.

RESULTS Within the matched cohort, average index costs were significantly higher for microsurgery (100% by definition, because costs are presented as a percentage of the average index cost for the matched microsurgery group; 95% CI 93–107) compared to radiosurgery (38%, 95% CI 38–39). Microsurgery had higher average follow-up costs (1.6% per month, 95% CI 0.8%–2.4%) compared to radiosurgery (0.5% per month, 95% CI 0.4%–0.7%), largely due to costs incurred in the initial months after resection. A major contributor to total cost and cost variability for both resection and radiosurgery was the need for additional interventions in the follow-up period, which were necessary due to complications or persistent functional deficits. Although tumor size was not associated with increased total costs for radiosurgery, linear regression analysis demonstrated that, for patients who underwent microsurgery, each centimeter increase in tumor maximum diameter resulted in an estimated increase in total cost of 50.2% of the average index cost of microsurgery (95% CI 34.6%–65.7%) (p < 0.001, R 2 = 0.17). There were no cost differences associated with the proportion of inpatient days in the ICU or with specific surgical approach for patients who underwent resection.

CONCLUSIONS This study is the largest assessment to date based on internal cost data comparing VS management with microsurgery and radiosurgery. Both index and follow-up costs are significantly higher when tumors were managed with resection compared to radiosurgery. Larger tumors were associated with increased resection costs, highlighting the incremental costs associated with observation as the initial management.

Low-Dose Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Acromegaly

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 1, July 2019, Pages E20–E30

Remission rate is associated with higher dose of Gamma Knife Radio- surgery (GKRS; Gamma Knife: Elekta AB, Stockholm, Sweden) for acromegaly, but the dose ≥25 Gy is not always feasible when the functioning adenoma is close to optic apparatus

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of low-dose (<25 Gy) GKRS in the treatment of patients with acromegaly.

METHODS: Single-center retrospective review of acromegaly cases treated with GKRS between June 1994 and December 2016. A total of 76 patients with the diagnosis of acromegaly who were treated with low-dose GKRS were selected for inclusion. Patients were treated with a median margin dose, isodose line, and treatment volume of 15.8 Gy, 57.5%, and 4.8 mL, respectively. Any identifiable portion of the optic apparatus was limited to a radiation dose of 10 Gy. All patients underwent full endocrine, ophthalmological, and imaging evaluation prior to and after GKRS treatments, and results of these were analyzed.

RESULTS: Biochemical remission was achieved in 33 (43.4%) patients. Actuarial remission rates were 20.3%, 49.9%, and 76.3% at 4, 8, and 12 yr, respectively. Absence of cavernous sinus invasion (P = .042) and lower baseline insulin-like growth factor-1 levels (P = .019) were significant predictors of remission. New hormone deficiencies were found in 9 (11.8%) patients. Actuarial hormone deficiency rates were 3%, 14%, and 22.2% at 4, 8, and 10 yr, respectively. Two (2.6%) patients who achieved initial remission experienced recurrence. No optic complications were encountered.

CONCLUSION: Reasonable remission and new hormone deficiency rates can be achieved with low-dose GKRS for acromegaly. These rates may be comparable to those with standard GKRS margin doses.