Gamma knife radiosurgery for glomus jugulare and tympanicum

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2011;89(5):291-8. doi: 10.1159/000328890. Epub 2011 Aug 18.


Objective: To establish the role of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) as a treatment strategy for glomus jugulare and tympanicum.

Method: A retrospective review of 14 glomus tumors, including 11 glomus jugulare and 3 glomus tympanicum tumors, which were treated by GKS in Taipei Veterans General Hospital from 1993 to 2009, was conducted. Two of these cases had undergone prior surgery with partial tumor resection, and the other 12 cases received primary treatment with GKS after a thorough neuroimaging and cerebral angiography. The tumor volume ranged from 6.5 to 22.1 ml. The maximum dose at the tumor center ranged from 21.6 to 26.3 Gy. All 14 patients were regularly followed up by clinical and radiological evaluations. The median follow-up time was 40.3 months.

Results: All 14 patients had significant tumor regression after radiosurgery. The median tumor volume reduction was 34.0% (range 3-79%). Only 1 patient had temporary tumor volume progression (24% increment 6 months post-treatment), accompanied with unilateral facial palsy (from grade III to grade IV) and hearing impairment (from grade I to grade II). The tumor volume of this patient had regressed by 12 months, but facial palsy persisted. The tumor control rate in the series was 100% (n = 14/14), and the preservation rate of cranial nerve function was 92.8% (13/14). There was no complication of lower cranial nerve damage after radiosurgery.

Conclusion: GKS appeared to be a good alternative or adjuvant to microsurgical resection in patients who are not amenable to complete surgical eradication, with an excellent tumor control rate and little morbidity after long-term follow-up.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ear Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ear Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomus Jugulare Tumor / diagnosis
  • Glomus Jugulare Tumor / surgery*
  • Glomus Tympanicum Tumor / diagnosis
  • Glomus Tympanicum Tumor / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult