Purpose: To evaluate the cause of complications in intraarterial chemotherapy for brain tumors and validate a dosage algorithm based on arterial territory.
Materials and methods: Four hundred sixty-two procedures were performed in 113 patients. Technique included pulsatile infusion of a chemotherapeutic agent. Dosage was calculated per hemisphere and divided per arterial territory according to a spatial dose fractionation algorithm based on the vascular territories of major cerebral arteries: middle cerebral artery, 60%; anterior cerebral artery, 20%; posterior cerebral artery, 15%; and perforator arteries, 5%. Hospital charts of all patients were retrospectively reviewed for complications, with specific attention given to the angiograms to determine a cause. Then, subgroup analysis of the chemotherapy protocol with the largest patient population was performed to evaluate predictors of complications.
Results: Six (1.3%) complications were asymptomatic; 12 (2.6%), transient neurologic; three (0.6%), permanent minor neurologic; three (0.6%), permanent major neurologic; and 32 (7.0%), seizures. In the subgroup analysis, the hemispheric dose administered according to the algorithm was strongly predictive of seizure and neurologic deficit.
Conclusion: Neurotoxicity of intraarterial cerebral chemotherapy can be minimized by using pulsatile injection and the described spatial dose fractionation algorithm.