Clinical Neuroscience

[Brachytherapy of brain stem tumours]

JULOW Jenő1, VIOLA Árpád1,2, MAJOR Tibor3, VALÁLIK István1, SÁGI Sarolta4, MANGEL László3, KOVÁCS Rita Beáta5, REPA Imre6, BAJZIK Gábor6, NÉMETH György3

FEBRUARY 10, 2004

Clinical Neuroscience - 2004;57(01-02)

[Introductions - The optimal therapy of brain stem tumours of different histopathology determines the expected length of survival. Authors report 125Iodine interstitial irradiation of brain stem tumours with stereotactic brachytherapy. Case reports - Two patients having brain stem tumours were suffering from glioma or from metastases of a carcinoma. In Case 1 the tumour volume was 1.98 cm3 at the time of planning interstitial irradiation. The control MRI examination performed at 42 months post-op showed a postirradiation cyst size of 5.73 cm3 indicating 65.5% shrinkage. In Case 2 the shrinkage was more apparent as the tumour vo-lume measured on the control MRI at 8 moths post-op was only 0.16 cm3 indicating 97.4% shrinkage of the 6.05 cm3 target volume at the time of brachytherapy with the metastasis practically disappearing. Quick access to histopathological results of the stereotactic intraoperative biopsy made it possible to carry out the 125Iodine stereotactic brachytherapy immediately after the biopsy, resulting in less inconvience for patients of a second possible intervention. The control MRI scans show significant shrinkage of tumours in both patients. Conclusion - The procedure can be performed as a biopsy. The CT and image fusion guided 125Iodine stereotactic brachytherapy can be well planned dosimetrically and is surgically precise.]


  1. Fôvárosi Önkormányzat, Szent János Kórház és Rendelôintézet, Idegsebészeti Osztály, Budapest
  2. Semmelweis Orvostudományi Egyetem, Doktori Iskola, Budapest
  3. Országos Onkológiai Intézet, Sugárterápiás Osztály, Budapest
  4. Fôvárosi Önkormányzat, Szent János Kórház és Rendelôintézet, Radiológiai Osztály, Budapest
  5. Fôvárosi Önkormányzat, Szent János Kórház és Rendelôintézet, Patológiai Osztály, Budapest
  6. Pannon Egyetem, Diagnosztikai és Onkoradiológiai Intézet, Kaposvár



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[Introduction - Using transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD), changes in blood flow velocity (BFV) can be measured in the Medial Cerebral Artery (MCA) during cognitive effort. Our goal was to define the time-course and laterality of BFV in healthy vo-lunters during arithmetic and verbal fluency tasks according to handedness. Methods - Twelve subjects (8 right-handed, 4 left-handed) were assessed. The TCD registered BFV in both MCA simultaneously. Heart rate was also recorded using TCD. Finally we included a 16-channel EEG. BFV laterality index (LI) was calculated. Participants were asked to count silently and generate words beginning with a specified letter. To estimate hemispheric differences in BFV, two-tailed Wilcoxon tests were utilized along with correlational analyses. Results - During cognitive effort the BFV changed in a triphasic manner in all participants. A 6-8% elevation of BFV was observed in MCAs without latency at the time of the evoking signal. Laterality of BFV developed after 5-13 seconds during cognitive effort in right-, and several seconds later in left-handed subjects. During tasks the BFV increased in the dominant hemis-phere up to 2.6-4.7% compared to the subdominant one. We also calculated the LI. During the verbal task the LI agreed with the handedness in 9 out of 12 subjects. During the mental arithmetic task, agreement was found in 6 out of 12 subjects. According to LI results we found a discrepancy between verbal and arithmetic tests in 3 out of 12 subjects. Conclusion - Cognitive effort elicites significant bilateral BFV increases in the MCAs, which suggests fast neurogenic regulation. The course of BFV during mental arithmetic proved to be different from course BFV assessed during the word fluency task. Based on the laterality of the BFV, the word-generation task was more sensitive in determining the dominant hemisphere when compared to the mental arithmetic task. The use of LI may help to estimate hemispheric functions even in pathologic circumstances.]

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[Introduction - Pineal parenchymal tumours make up 0,3% of all brain tumours. Stereotactic biopsy has by now become an indispensable method to detect these tumours and it can be safely performed. Patients and method - Two patients with pineoblastoma were treated with 125I brachytherapy. The MRI and CT images taken 15 and 18 months after irradiation showed significant tumour shrinkage. Results - Tumour volume was 0.76 cm3 in the control CT image in Case 1, a shrinkage by 73% compared to 2.87 cm3 measured at the time of planning the interstitial irradiation. In Case 2, tumour volume measured on the control MRI examination was 0.29 cm3 as opposed to 1.27 cm3 of original tumour volume, which represents a 77% shrinkage. Conclusion - The insertion of isotope seeds was performed at the same time as the biopsy, because thus the knowledge of the histological diagnosis could spare the patients from a second stereotactic intervention. The CT- and image fusion guided 125I stereotactical brachytherapy is a procedure that can be dosimetrically precisely planned and surgically accurately and safely performed.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[CT- and image fusion guided 125I stereotactic brachytherapy of acoustic neurinoma: three cases]

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[Gamma knife and multi leaf collimator Linac have recently gained significant space in the treatment of acustic neurinomas. As our neurosurgical department does not own gamma knife or Linac, we have successfully pursued the 125Iodine interstitial irradiation of three acustic neurinomas. Our patients were elderly people with poor general condition, therefore we decided to undertake interstitial irradiation because of the low tolerance for surgery. The follow-up period until March 2002, lasted five, 23 and 40 months in the three cases. At the end of the follow-up period the audiometrical examination stated slight enhancement of hearing in case one and case two. In case one, the tumor volume, as measured on the control MRI was 5.32 cm3, which meant a 21% shrinkage in contrast to the 6.74 cm3 target volume at the brachytherapy. In case two, the shrinkage was even more apparent. The tumor volume measured on the control MRI examination was 6.64 cm3, which was a 42% shrinkage of the 11.45 cm3 target volume at the moment of brachytherapy. Due to financial reasons, gamma knife and Linac are not available for many countries and neurosurgical institutes. In the absence of the above mentioned radiosurgical methods, we have shown brachytherapy as a new alternative and solution in the treatment of acoustic neurinoma in three patients.]

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