Stereotactic radiosurgery for orbital cavernous venous malformation: a single center's experience for 15 years

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2021 Feb;163(2):357-364. doi: 10.1007/s00701-020-04575-4. Epub 2020 Sep 15.


Background: Stereotactic radiosurgery such as Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been shown to have a good treatment effect for orbital cavernous venous malformation (CVM). However, radiation-induced retinopathy or optic neuropathy is a vision-threatening complication of orbital irradiation. Predicting the post-treatment visual outcome is critical.

Methods: Clinical and radiological outcomes were investigated in 30 patients who underwent GKRS for orbital CVM between July 2005 and February 2020. Measurement of peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness using optical coherence tomography (OCT) was obtained in 14 patients.

Results: The median clinical and radiological follow-up periods were 46.6 months (range, 15.9-105.8) and 27.5 months (range, 15.4-105.8), respectively. Twenty-eight patients underwent multisession (4 fractions) GKRS. The median cumulative marginal dose was 20 Gy (range, 16-24). Two patients underwent single-session GKRS. Marginal doses were 15 Gy and 10.5 Gy in each patient. The volume of CVM decreased in 29 (97%) patients. Visual acuity was improved in 6 (20%) patients and was stable in 22 (73%) patients. Visual field defect and exophthalmos were improved in all patients. Serial investigation of OCT showed no statistically significant difference in pRNFL thickness after GKRS. Patients with normal average pRNFL thickness showed better visual recovery than patients with thin average pRNFL thickness.

Conclusions: GKRS is an effective and safe treatment option for orbital CVM. The pRNFL thickness before GKRS can be a prognostic indicator for visual recovery in orbital CVM after GKRS.

Keywords: Gamma Knife radiosurgery; Optical coherence tomography; Orbital cavernous venous malformation; Retinal nerve fiber layer; Stereotactic radiosurgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous, Central Nervous System / complications
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous, Central Nervous System / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prefrontal Cortex / blood supply*
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veins / abnormalities
  • Veins / surgery
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Young Adult