Clinical Neuroscience

[Radiosurgery of intracerebral cavernomas - Current international trends]

NAGY Gábor1, KEMENY A. Andras2, MAJOR Ottó1, ERÕSS Loránd1, VÁRADY Péter1, MEZEY Géza3,4, FEDORCSÁK Imre1,3, BOGNÁR László1,3,4

JULY 30, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(07-08)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.68.0229

[Although still a controversial management option, radiosurgery of intracranial cavernomas has become increasingly popular world-wide during the last decade. Microsurgery is a safe and effective treatment for symptomatic hemispheric cavernomas. However, the indication for microsurgical resection of deep eloquent cavernomas is relatively limited even in experienced hands. The importance of radiosurgery has recently been appreciated in parallel with increasing positive experiences both in terms of effectiveness and safety, especially for cases high risk for surgical resection, in the brainstem, thalamus and basal ganglia. While radiosurgery was earlier indicated mainly for surgically inaccessible lesions that had bled multiple times, a more proactive policy has recently become more accepted. In our opinion preventive treatment with the low morbidity radiosurgery serves the patients’ interest especially for deep eloquent lesions that had bled not more than once, due to the cumulative morbidity of repeated hemorrhages. Despite our increasing knowledge on natural history, there is currently no available treatment algorithm for cavernomas. Arguments for all three treatment modalities (observation, microsurgery and radiosurgery) are established, but their indication criteria are yet to be defined. It is time to organize a prospective population based data collection in Hungary, which appears to be the most realistic way to clarify indication criteria.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Országos Klinikai Idegtudományi Intézet, Budapest
  2. The National Centre for Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  3. Debreceni Egyetem, Orvos- és Egészségügyi Centrum, GAMMA Sugársebészeti Központ, Debrecen
  4. Debreceni Egyetem, Orvos- és Egészségügyi Centrum, Idegsebészeti Klinika, Debrecen

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[Background and purpose - Radiosurgery is an increasingly popular treatment option especially for deep eloquent intracerebral cavernomas that are often too risky for surgical removal, but their re-bleed carries significant risk for persisting neurological deficit. Gamma-radiation based radiosurgery has been being available since 2007 in Hungary in Debrecen. Our aim is to summarize our experience accumulated during the first five years of treatment and to compare it to the international experience. Patient selection and methods - We retrospectively analyzed 51 cavernomas in 45 patients treated between 2008 and 2012 in terms of localization, natural history, and the effect of radiosurgery on re-bleed risk and epilepsy, and its side effects. Results - We treated 26.5% deep eloquent (brainstem, thalamic/basal ganglia) and 72.5% superficial hemispheric cavernomas. The median presentation age was 25 years (13-60) for deep, and 45 years (6-67) for superficial cavernomas. They were treated median of 1 year after presentation. 64.5% of deep cavernomas bled before treatment, the annual risk of first hemorrhage was 2%/lesion, re-bleed risk 21.7%, with 44% persisting morbidity. 13.5% of superficial cavernomas bled prior to treatment, the risk of first bleed was 0.3%, there was no re-bleed, and 35% caused epilepsy. We used GammaART-6000TM rotating gamma system for treatment, marginal dose was 14 Gy (10-16), and treatment volume 1.38-1.53 cm3. Re-bleed risk of deep eloquent lesions fell to 4% during the first two years after treatment and to 0% thereafter, and no hemorrhage occurred from superficial lesions after treatment. Persisting morbidity in deep lesions came from adverse radiation effect in 7% and from re-bleed in 7%, and there was no persisting side effect in superficial cavernomas. 87.5% of cases of epilepsy resistant to medical therapy improved. Radiological regression was found in 37.5% and progression in 2% after treatment. Conclusions - Radiosurgery of cavernomas is safe and effective. Early preventive treatment for deep cavernomas carrying high surgical risk is justified. Moreover, for superficial lesions that are surgically easily accessible radiosurgery also appears to be an attractive alternative.]

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