Background: Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) is a primary treatment modality for small, surgically-challenging meningiomas of the skull base in carefully selected patients. Despite the overall low incidence of complications from this procedure, rare instances of hemorrhagic events following GKS have been reported. In fact, only a single, probable case of acute hemorrhage after GKS for a meningioma exists in the literature.
Case description: The authors present the case of a 59-year-old female treated with GKS to a clival meningioma who suffered an acute intra- and peritumoral hemorrhage within three hours after the procedure. The patient also had an ST-elevation myocardial infarction associated with the hemorrhage. At the time of her GKS she was taking aspirin and clopidogrel for treatment of coronary artery disease with multiple cardiac stents. Cerebral catheter angiography failed to reveal a source for the hemorrhage.
Conclusion: Acute hemorrhage following GKS to a meningioma is a rare, but potentially serious, complication and consideration should be given to counseling patients of this risk prior to treatment. We hypothesize that acute change to the structural integrity of the vascular endothelium after GKS may have precipitated cerebrovascular dysfunction resulting in hemorrhage. While the administration of anti-platelet therapy may have been a contributing factor to his event, it appears that the low incidence of acute tumoral bleeding after GKS does not justify routinely discontinuing anti-platelet and/or anti-coagulation in patients with severe associated medical co-morbidities.
Keywords: Gamma knife; Intratumoral hemorrhage; Meningioma; Radiosurgery; Subarachnoid hemorrhage.