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 A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations- Eligible Patients: A Meta-Analysis

Neurosurgery 91:684–692, 2022

The outcomes of A Randomized Trial of Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations (ARUBA) were controversial, and they suggested that intervention is inferior to medical management for unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, several studies have shown that stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an acceptable therapy for unruptured AVMs.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that ARUBA intervention arm’s SRS results are meaningfully inferior to those from similar populations reported by other studies.

METHODS: We performed a literature review to identify SRS studies of patients who met the eligibility criteria for ARUBA. Patient, AVM, treatment, and outcome data were extracted for statistical analysis. Regression analyses were pooled to identify factors associated with post-SRS obliteration and hemorrhage.

RESULTS: The study cohort included 8 studies comprising 1620 ARUBA-eligible patients who underwent SRS. At the time of AVM diagnosis, 36% of patients were asymptomatic. The mean follow-up duration was 80 months. Rates of radiologic, symptomatic, and permanent radiation-induced changes were 45%, 11%, and 2%, respectively. The obliteration rate was 68% at last follow-up. The post-SRS hemorrhage and mortality rates were 8%, and 2%, respectively. Lower Spetzler-Martin grade (odds ratios [OR] = 0.84 [0.74-0.95], P = .005), lower radiosurgery-based AVM score (OR = 0.75 [0.64-0.95], P = .011), lower Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (OR = 0.86 [0.78-0.95], P = .003), and higher margin dose (OR = 1.13 [1.02-1.25], P = .025) were associated with obliteration.

CONCLUSION: SRS carries a favorable risk to benefit profile for appropriately selected ARUBA-eligible patients, particularly those with smaller volume AVMs. Our findings suggest that the results of ARUBA do not reflect the real-world safety and efficacy of SRS for unruptured AVMs.

Matched Comparison of Hearing Outcomes in Patients With Vestibular Schwannoma Treated With Stereotactic Radiosurgery or Observation

Neurosurgery 91:641–647, 2022

Previous studies comparing hearing outcomes in patients managed with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and a watch-and-wait strategy were limited by small sample sizes that prevented controlling for potential confounders, including initial hearing status, tumor size, and age.

OBJECTIVE: To compare hearing outcomes for patients with vestibular schwannomas (VS) managed with observation and SRS while controlling for confounders with propensity score matching.

METHODS: Propensity score matching was used to compare 198 patients with unilateral VS with initial serviceable hearing (99 treated with SRS and 99 managed with observation alone) and 116 with initial class A hearing (58 managed with SRS and 58 with observation), matched by initial hearing status, tumor volume, age, and sex. Kaplan–Meier survival methods were used to compare risk of losing class A and serviceable hearing.

RESULTS: Between patients with VS managed with SRS or observation alone, there was no significant difference in loss of class A hearing (median time 27.2 months, 95% CI 16.843.4, and 29.2 months, 95% CI 20.4-62.5, P = .88) or serviceable hearing (median time 37.7 months, 95% CI 25.7-58.4, and 48.8 months, 95% CI 38.4-86.3, P = .18). For SRS patients, increasing mean cochlear dose was not related to loss of class A hearing (hazard ratio 1.3, P = .17) but was associated with increasing risk of serviceable hearing loss (hazard ratio of 1.5 per increase in Gy, P = .017).

CONCLUSION: When controlling for potential confounders, there was no significant difference in loss of class A or serviceable hearing between patients managed with SRS or with observation alone.

Incidence of repeat procedures and healthcare utilization following surgery, radiosurgery, and percutaneous procedures in elderly patients with trigeminal neuralgia

J Neurosurg 137:828–839, 2022

Management of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) in elderly patients poses significant challenges. The impact of different treatment modalities (surgery, radiosurgery [RS], and percutaneous techniques [PTs]) on healthcare utilization is not well defined in the management of TN in elderly patients. The aim of this study was to compare the long-term healthcare utilization metrics of different interventions in the management of elderly patients with TN.

METHODS The MarketScan database was queried using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Current Procedural Terminology, from 2000 to 2016. TN patients ≥ 65 years of age managed using surgery, RS, and PTs with at least 5 years of follow-up after the index procedure were included. Outcomes analyzed were hospital admissions, outpatient services, and medication refills.

RESULTS Of 993 patients, 43% (n = 430) underwent RS, 44% (n = 432) had PTs, and only 13% (n = 131) underwent surgery for TN. Overall, the median age of patients was 74 years old, 64% were females, 90% had Medicare insurance, and 17% had an Elixhauser index ≥ 3. Patients in the surgery group were younger (median age 71 years) with a higher comorbidity index (≥ 3; 24%) compared with patients undergoing RS and PTs (13% and 17%, respectively). At 1, 2, and 5 years after the index procedure, 41%, 48%, and 57% of patients in the PT cohort underwent any repeat procedure compared with 11%, 18%, and 29% for the RS cohort, and 6%, 9%, and 11% for the surgical cohort, respectively. Also, patients in the PT cohort incurred 1.8, 1.9, and 2.0 times the combined payment at 1, 2, and 5 years, respectively, compared with the surgery cohort. Similarly, patients who underwent RS for TN incurred 1.4, 1.5, and 1.5 times the combined payment at 1, 2, and 5 years, respectively, compared with the surgery cohort. At 5 years after the index procedure, combined payments for the PT cohort were $79,753 (IQR $46,013, $144,064) compared with $61,016 (IQR $27,114, $117,097) for the RS cohort and $41,074 (IQR $25,392, $87,952) for the surgery cohort (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS PTs followed by RS were the common procedures used in the majority of elderly patients with TN. However, surgery for TN resulted in durable control with the least need for reoperations up to 5 years after the index procedure, followed by RS and PTs. PTs for TN resulted in the highest utilization of healthcare resources and need for reoperations at all time points. These findings should be considered in clinical decision-making when selecting appropriate treatment modalities in elderly patients with TN.

Surgery for clinoidal meningiomas with cavernous sinus extension: Near‑total excision and chiasmopexy

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:2511–2515

The main factors limiting the extent of resection for clinoidal meningiomas are cavernous sinus extension and vessel adventitia involvement. The proximity to the optic apparatus and the risk of radiation-induced optic neuropathy often prevents many surgeons from proposing adjuvant radiosurgery.

Method We describe a simple technical solution that is to place a fat graft between the optic apparatus and the residual tumor to maintain the distance gained at surgery and facilitates the identification of anatomic structures.

Conclusion This technique allows to deliver optimal therapeutic doses to the residue reduces the dose received by the optic nerve below 8 Gy.

Management of cavernous sinus meningiomas: Consensus statement on behalf of the EANS skull base section

Brain and Spine 2 (2022) 100864

The evolution of cavernous sinus meningiomas (CSMs) might be unpredictable and the efficacy of their treatments is challenging due to their indolent evolution, variations and fluctuations of symptoms, heterogeneity of classifications and lack of randomized controlled trials. Here, a dedicated task force provides a consensus statement on the overall management of CSMs. Research question: To determine the best overall management of CSMs, depending on their clinical presentation, size, and evolution as well as patient characteristics.

Material and methods: Using the PRISMA 2020 guidelines, we included literature from January 2000 to December 2020. A total of 400 abstracts and 77 titles were kept for full-paper screening.

Results: The task force formulated 8 recommendations (Level C evidence). CSMs should be managed by a highly specialized multidisciplinary team. The initial evaluation of patients includes clinical, ophthalmological, endocrinological and radiological assessment. Treatment of CSM should involve experienced skull-base neurosurgeons or neuro-radiosurgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists, and endocrinologists.

Discussion and conclusion: Radiosurgery is preferred as first-line treatment in small, enclosed, pauci-symptomatic lesions/in elderly patients, while large CSMs not amenable to resection or WHO grade II-III are candidates for radiotherapy. Microsurgery is an option in aggressive/rapidly progressing lesions in young patients presenting with oculomotor/visual/endocrinological impairment. Whenever surgery is offered, open cranial approaches are the current standard. There is limited experience reported about endoscopic endonasal approach for CSMs and the main indication is decompression of the cavernous sinus to improve symptoms. Whenever surgery is indicated, the current trend is to offer decompression followed by radiosurgery.

Dural arteriovenous fistulas without cortical venous drainage

J Neurosurg 136:942–950, 2022

Current evidence suggests that intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) without cortical venous drainage (CVD) have a benign clinical course. However, no large study has evaluated the safety and efficacy of current treatments and their impact over the natural history of dAVFs without CVD.

METHODS The authors conducted an analysis of the retrospectively collected multicenter Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR) database. Patient demographics and presenting symptoms, angiographic features of the dAVFs, and treatment outcomes of patients with Borden type I dAVFs were reviewed. Clinical and radiological follow-up information was assessed to determine rates of new intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) or nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit (NHND), worsening of venous hyperdynamic symptoms (VHSs), angiographic recurrence, and progression or spontaneous regression of dAVFs over time.

RESULTS A total of 342 patients/Borden type I dAVFs were identified. The mean patient age was 58.1 ± 15.6 years, and 62% were women. The mean follow-up time was 37.7 ± 54.3 months. Of 230 (67.3%) treated dAVFs, 178 (77%) underwent mainly endovascular embolization, 11 (4.7%) radiosurgery alone, and 4 (1.7%) open surgery as the primary modality. After the first embolization, most dAVFs (47.2%) achieved only partial reduction in early venous filling. Multiple complementary interventions increased complete obliteration rates from 37.9% after first embolization to 46.7% after two or more embolizations, and 55.2% after combined radiosurgery and open surgery. Immediate postprocedural complications occurred in 35 dAVFs (15.2%) and 6 (2.6%) with permanent sequelae. Of 127 completely obliterated dAVFs by any therapeutic modality, 2 (1.6%) showed angiographic recurrence/recanalization at a mean of 34.2 months after treatment. Progression to Borden-Shucart type II or III was documented in 2.2% of patients and subsequent development of a new dAVF in 1.6%. Partial spontaneous regression was found in 22 (21.4%) of 103 nontreated dAVFs. Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that older age, NHND, or severe venous-hyperdynamic symptoms at presentation and infratentorial location were associated with worse prognosis. Kaplan-Meier curves showed no significant difference for stable/improved symptoms survival probability in treated versus nontreated dAVFs. However, estimated survival times showed better trends for treated dAVFs compared with nontreated dAVFs (288.1 months vs 151.1 months, log-rank p = 0.28). This difference was statistically significant for treated dAVFs with 100% occlusion (394 months, log-rank p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS Current therapeutic modalities for management of dAVFs without CVD may provide better symptom control when complete angiographic occlusion is achieved.


Risk of tract recurrence with stereotactic biopsy of brain metastases

J Neurosurg 136:1045–1051, 2022

Stereotactic biopsy is increasingly performed on brain metastases (BrMs) as improving cancer outcomes drive aggressive multimodality treatment, including laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT). However, the tract recurrence (TR) risk is poorly defined in an era defined by focused-irradiation paradigms. As such, the authors aimed to define indications and adjuvant therapies for this procedure and evaluate the BrM-biopsy TR rate.

METHODS In a single-center retrospective review, the authors identified stereotactic BrM biopsies performed from 2002 to 2020. Surgical indications, radiographic characteristics, stereotactic planning, dosimetry, pre- and postoperative CNS-directed and systemic treatments, and clinical courses were collected. Recurrence was evaluated using RANO-BM (Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology Brain Metastases) criteria.

RESULTS In total, 499 patients underwent stereotactic intracranial biopsy for any diagnosis, of whom 25 patients (5.0%) underwent biopsy for pathologically confirmed viable BrM, a proportion that increased over the time period studied. Twelve of the 25 BrM patients had ≥ 3 months of radiographic follow-up, of whom 6 patients (50%) developed new metastatic growth along the tract at a median of 5.0 months post-biopsy (range 2.3–17.1 months). All of the TR cases had undergone pre- or early post-biopsy stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and 3 had also undergone LITT at the time of initial biopsy. TRs were treated with resection, reirradiation, or observation/systemic therapy.

CONCLUSIONS In this study the authors identified a nontrivial, higher than previously described rate of BrM-biopsy tract recurrence, which often required additional surgery or radiation and justified close radiographic surveillance. As BrMs are commonly treated with SRS limited to enhancing tumor margins, consideration should be made, in cases lacking CNS-active systemic treatments, to include biopsy tracts in adjuvant radiation plans where feasible.

Intervention for unruptured high-grade intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: a multicenter study

J Neurosurg 136:962–970, 2022

The risk-to-benefit profile of treating an unruptured high-grade dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) is not clearly defined. The aim of this multicenter retrospective cohort study was to compare the outcomes of different interventions with observation for unruptured high-grade dAVFs.

METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed dAVF patients from 12 institutions participating in the Consortium for Dural Arteriovenous Fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR). Patients with unruptured high-grade (Borden type II or III) dAVFs were included and categorized into four groups (observation, embolization, surgery, and stereotactic radiosurgery [SRS]) based on the initial management. The primary outcome was defined as the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at final follow-up. Secondary outcomes were good outcome (mRS scores 0–2) at final follow-up, symptomatic improvement, all-cause mortality, and dAVF obliteration. The outcomes of each intervention group were compared against those of the observation group as a reference, with adjustment for differences in baseline characteristics.

RESULTS The study included 415 dAVF patients, accounting for 29, 324, 43, and 19 in the observation, embolization, surgery, and SRS groups, respectively. The mean radiological and clinical follow-up durations were 21 and 25 months, respectively. Functional outcomes were similar for embolization, surgery, and SRS compared with observation. With observation as a reference, obliteration rates were higher after embolization (adjusted OR [aOR] 7.147, p = 0.010) and surgery (aOR 33.803, p < 0.001) and all-cause mortality was lower after embolization (imputed, aOR 0.171, p = 0.040). Hemorrhage rates per 1000 patient-years were 101 for observation versus 9, 22, and 0 for embolization (p = 0.022), surgery (p = 0.245), and SRS (p = 0.077), respectively. Nonhemorrhagic neurological deficit rates were similar between each intervention group versus observation.

CONCLUSIONS Embolization and surgery for unruptured high-grade dAVFs afforded a greater likelihood of obliteration than did observation. Embolization also reduced the risk of death and dAVF-associated hemorrhage compared with conservative management over a modest follow-up period. These findings support embolization as the first-line treatment of choice for appropriately selected unruptured Borden type II and III dAVFs.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Olfactory Groove Meningiomas: An International, Multicenter Study

Neurosurgery 89:784–791, 2021

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is increasingly considered for selected olfactory groove meningiomas (OGMs).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the safety and efficacy of SRS for OGMs.

METHODS: From 20 institutions participating in the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation, we pooled patients who underwent SRS for histologically confirmed or radiologically suspected WHO grade I OGMs and were followed for 6 mo or more after the SRS.

RESULTS: In total, 278 (median age 57 yr) patients underwent SRS for histologically confirmed (29%) or radiologically suspected (71%) WHO grade I OGMs Median treatment volume was 4.60 cm3 (range: 0.12-27.3 cm3), median prescription dose was 12 Gy, and median dose to the olfactory nerve was 11.20 Gy. During median post-SRS imaging follow- up of 39 mo (range: 6-240 mo), 43% of patients had partial or marginal response, 54% of patients had stable disease, and 3% of patients experienced progression. During median post-SRS clinical follow-up of 51 mo (range: 6-240 mo), 36 (13%) patients experienced clinical and/or radiological adverse radiation events (AREs). Elevated risk of AREs was associated with larger OGM volume (P = .009) and pre-SRS peritumoral T2/fluid-attenuated inversion- recovery signal abnormalities (P < .001). After the SRS, olfaction remained stable, improved, or deteriorated in 90%, 8%, and 2% of patients, respectively. Complete post-SRS anosmia was predicted by partial/complete anosmia before the SRS (odds ratio [OR] = 83.125; 95% CI [24.589-281.01], P < .001) and prior resection of OGM (OR = 3.919; 95% CI [1.713-8.970], P = .001).

CONCLUSION: SRS is associated with durable local control of the majority of OGM patients with acceptable safety profile. SRS allows preservation or improvement of olfactory function in the majority of OGM patients.


Observation Versus Intervention for Low-Grade Intracranial Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas

Neurosurgery 88:1111–1120, 2021

Low-grade intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVF) have a benign natural history in the majority of cases. The benefit from treatment of these lesions is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of observation versus intervention for low-grade dAVFs.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed dAVF patients from institutions participating in the CONsortium for Dural arteriovenous fistula Outcomes Research (CONDOR). Patients with low-grade (Borden type I) dAVFs were included and categorized into intervention or observation cohorts. The intervention and observation cohorts were matched in a 1:1 ratio using propensity scores. Primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at final follow-up. Secondary outcomes were excellent (mRS 0-1) and good (mRS 0-2) outcomes, symptomatic improvement, mortality, and obliteration at final follow-up.

RESULTS: The intervention and observation cohorts comprised 230 and 125 patients, respectively. We found no differences in primary or secondary outcomes between the 2 unmatched cohorts at last follow-up (mean duration 36 mo), except obliteration rate was higher in the intervention cohort (78.5% vs 24.1%, P < .001). The matched intervention and observation cohorts each comprised 78 patients. We also found no differences in primary or secondary outcomes between the matched cohorts except obliteration was also more likely in the matched intervention cohort (P < .001). Procedural complication rates in the unmatched and matched intervention cohorts were 15.4% and 19.2%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Intervention for low-grade intracranial dAVFs achieves superior obliteration rates compared to conservative management, but it fails to improve neurological or functional outcomes. Our findings do not support the routine treatment of low-grade dAVFs.

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.

Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery on the Gamma Knife Icon: Early Experience From 100 Patients

Neurosurgery 86:509–516, 2020

The Gamma Knife (GK) Icon (Elekta AB) uses a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner and an infrared camera system to support the delivery of frameless stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). There are limited data on patients treated with frameless GK radiosurgery (GKRS).

OBJECTIVE: To describe the early experience, process, technical details, and short-term outcomes with frameless GKRS at our institution.

METHODS: We reviewed our patient selection and described the workflow in detail, including image acquisition, treatment planning, mask-based immobilization, stereotactic CBCT localization, registration, treatment, and intrafraction monitoring. Because of the short interval of follow-up, we provide crude rates of local control.

RESULTS: Data from 100 patients are reported. Median age is 67 yr old. 56 patients were treated definitively, 21 postoperatively, and 23 had salvage GKRS for recurrence after surgery. Forty-two patients had brain metastases, 26 meningiomas, 16 vestibular schwannomas, 9 high-grade gliomas, and 7 other histologies. Median doses to metastases were 20 Gy in 1 fraction (range: 14-21), 24 Gy in 3 fractions (range: 19.5-27), and 25 Gy in 5 fractions (range: 25-30 Gy). Thirteen patients underwent repeat SRS to the same area. Median treatment time was 17.7 min (range: 5.8-61.7). We found an improvement in our workflow and a greater number of patients eligible for GKRS because of the ability to fractionate treatments.

CONCLUSION: We report a large cohort of consecutive patients treated with frameless GKRS. We look forward to studies with longer follow-up to provide valuable data on clinical outcomes and to further our understanding of the radiobiology of hypofractionation in the brain.

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.


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.


Long-Term Hearing Outcomes Following Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Vestibular Schwannoma Patients

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, (4), October 2019, 550–559

An understanding of the hearing outcomes is needed for treatment counseling for patients with vestibular schwannomas (VS).

OBJECTIVE: To determine long-term hearing results following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for VS and identify any influential variables.

METHODS: Tertiary hospital retrospective cohort.

RESULTS: There were 579 tumors (576 patients) treated with SRS. Eighty-two percent (473) of tumors had ≥1 yr and 59% (344 ≥3 yr follow-up. In the 244 tumor ears, with measurable hearing before SRS who were followed ≥1 yr, 14% (31) had improved hearing, 13% (29) unchanged hearing, and 74% (158) had worsened hearing. In 175 patients with ≥3 yr followup and who had measurable hearing pretreatment, 6% (11 ears) improved hearing, 31% (54 ears) unchanged hearing, and 63% (110 ears) had worsened hearing. Patients with tumors with larger target volumes (P = 0.040) and with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2; P = 0.017) were associated with poorer hearing (P = 0.040). Patients with word recognition scores (WRS) of 50% or poorer had tumors with a larger volume (P = 0.0002), larger linear size (P=0.032),andNF2(P=0.045).TraditionallyreportedhearingoutcomesusingtheGardner RobertsonmaintenanceofPTA ≤50dborWRS≥50%were48%at3yr,whichoverestimates hearing outcomes compared to the above reporting standards.

CONCLUSION: Hearing declines over time in VS treated with SRS in a high proportion of cases. The frequency and magnitude of long-term hearing decline following SRS argues against prophylactic radiation for small tumors in hearing ears with undetermined growth behavior.

Clinical Outcomes of Upfront Stereotactic Radiosurgery Alone for Patients With 5 to 15 Brain Metastases

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 2, August 2019, Pages 257–263

The role of primary stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for patients with >4 brain metastases (BM) remains controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcomes of patients treated with upfront SRS alone for 1, 2 to 4, and 5 to 15 BM and assess for predictors of clinical outcomes in the 5 to 15 BM group.

METHODS: A total of 478 patients treated with upfront SRS were stratified by number of lesions: 220 had 1 BM, 190 had 2 to 4 BM, and 68 patients had 5 to 15 BM. Overall survival and whole brain radiotherapy-free survival were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. The cumulative incidences of local failure and distant brain failure (DBF) were estimated using competing risks methodology. Clinicopathologic and dosimetric parameters were evaluated as predictors of survival and DBF in patients with 5 to 15 BM using Cox propor- tional hazards.

RESULTS: Median overall survival was 8.0, 6.3, and 4.7 mo for patients with 1, 2 to 4, and 5 to 15 BM, respectively (P = .14). One-year DBF was 27%, 44%, and 40%, respec- tively (P = .01). Salvage SRS and whole brain radiotherapy rates did not differ. Progressive extracranial disease and gastrointestinal primary were associated with poor survival while RCC primary was associated with increased risk of DBF. No evaluated dose-volume param- eters predicted for death, neurologic death or toxicity.

CONCLUSION: SRS for 5 to 15 BM is well tolerated without evidence of an associated increase in toxicity, treatment failure, or salvage therapy. Further prospective, randomized studies are warranted to clarify the role of SRS for these patients.

The emerging role of gamma knife radiosurgery in the management of glossopharyngeal neuralgia

Neurosurg Rev (2019) 42:31–38

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN) represents a rare craniofacial disorder accounting for about 1% of all craniofacial pain syndromes. GPN shares several pathophysiologic and clinical features with the more common trigeminal neuralgia. Medical therapy and microvascular decompression, in case of vascular nerve compression, represented the mainstay of GPN management. Other ablative therapies have been reported to date; however, few data are available because of the rarity of this pain syndrome. Among the ablative procedures, gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been recently introduced in the management of GPN with good pain control and low complication rates.

Authors performed a systematic review of the published literature about GKRS in the management of GPN. Radiosurgical treatment data, pain control and recurrence rate have been analysed and compared.

GKRS represented a valuable and effective treatment option for the management of GPN. Pain control and complication rates are better than those reported by other ablative procedures and microvascular decompression; however, future studies should be focused on the long-term efficacy of GKRS.

Radiosurgery and fractionated radiotherapy for cavernous sinus meningioma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:2367–2378

Radiosurgery (RS) and fractionated radiotherapy (FRT) are part of the therapeutic armamentarium for the management of cavernous sinus meningiomas. We propose a systematic review of the local tumor control and clinical outcomes after monofractionated radiosurgical treatment, including gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) and linear accelerator (Linac RS), or fractionated radiotherapy.

Materials and Methods: The current review and meta-analysis adhered to the PRISMA guidelines. We performed a search in PubMed, Embase, and Medline based on the following mesh terms, used alone or in diverse combinations, in both title and abstract: “cavernous sinus”, “meningioma”, “radiosurgery”, “gamma knife”,”linac”, “cyberknife” and “radiotherapy”. We screened 425 studies. We selected 36 studies, matching all selection criteria: 24 for GK, 5 for Linac, and 7 for FRT.

Results: Were included 2817 patients (GKRS, n = 2047, LinacRS, n = 350, FRT, n = 420). Half of patients benefited from upfront RS or FRT; the other half benefited from adjuvant RS or FRT (combined approach or tumor recurrence). The mean gross target volume (GTV) was smaller for RS as compared to FRT (p = 0.07). The median marginal doses were 13.9 Gy (range, 11 to 28) for GKRS and 14 Gy (range, 12.8 to 17.7) for LinacRS. For FRT, patients received a mean dose of 51.2 Gy (25.5 fractions, 1.85 Gy each). The mean overall follow-up values were 48 months (range, 15 to 89) for GKRS, 69 months (range, 46 to 87) for Linac, and 59.5 months (range, 33 to 83) for FRT. PFS at 5 years for GKRS, LinacRS, and FRT were respectively 93.6%, 95.6%, and 97.4% (p = 0.32, the Kruskal-Wallis). Monofractionated treatments (GKRS and LinacRS) induced more tumor volume regression than FRT (p = 0.001). Tumor recurrence or progression ranged between 3 and 5.8%, without statistically significant differences between modalities (p > 0.05). Trigeminal symptoms improved in approximately 54%, and III-IV-VI cranial nerves (CN) palsies improved in approximately 45%. After GKRS, visual acuity improved in 21% (not enough data available for other modalities). De novo deficits occurred in 5 to 7.5%. Adverse radiation effects appeared in 4.6 to 9.3% (all techniques pooled).

Conclusion: RS achieved a twice-higher rate of tumor volume regression than FRT. GKRS series reported an improvement in visual acuity in 21% of the cases. GKRS, Linac, and FRT provided similar clinical post therapeutic outcomes for the trigeminal and oculomotor CN.

Radiation-Induced Changes After Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery 83:365–376, 2018

Radiation-induced changes (RICs) are the most common complication of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and they appear as perinidal T2-weighted hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging, with or without associated neurological symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the rates of RIC after AVM SRS and identify risk factors.

METHODS: A literature review was performed using PubMed and MEDLINE to identify studies reporting RIC in AVM patients treated with SRS. RICs were classified as radiologic (any neuroimaging evidence), symptomatic (any associated neurological deterioration, regardless of duration), and permanent (neurological decline without recovery). Baseline, treatment, and outcomes data were extracted for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Based on pooled data from 51 studies, the overall rates of radiologic, symptomatic, and permanent RIC after AVMSRS were 35.5% (1143/3222 patients, 32 studies), 9.2% (499/5447 patients, 46 studies), and 3.8% (202/5272 patients, 39 studies), respectively. Radiologic RIC was significantly associated with lack of prior AVM rupture (odds ratio [OR] = 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.47-0.69; P < .001) and treatment with repeat SRS (OR = 6.19; 95% CI: 2.42-15.85; P < .001). Symptomatic RIC was significantly associated with deep AVM location (OR = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.21-0.67; P< .001).

CONCLUSION: Approximately 1 in 3 patients with AVMs treated with SRS develop radiologically evident RIC, and of those with radiologic RIC, 1 in 4 develop neurological symptoms. Lack of prior AVM hemorrhage and repeat SRS are risk factors for radiologic RIC, and deep nidus location is a risk factor for symptomatic RIC.

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