Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Cavernous Malformations of Basal Ganglia and Thalamus: A Retrospective Study of 53 Patients

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2021 Jun 9;1-8. doi: 10.1159/000510108. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Introduction: Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been used to treat cavernous malformations (CMs) located in basal ganglia and thalamus. However, previous reports are limited by small patient population.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical and radiological data of 53 patients with CMs of basal ganglia and thalamus who underwent GKRS at West China Hospital between May 2009 and July 2018. All patients suffered at least once bleeding before GKRS. The mean volume of these lesions was 1.77 cm3, and the mean marginal dose was 13.2 Gy. After treatment, patients were followed to determine the change in symptom and hemorrhage event.

Results: The mean follow-up period was 52.1 months (6.2-104.3 months). The calculated annual hemorrhage rate (AHR) was 48.5% prior to GKRS and 3.0% after treatment (p < 0.001). The Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that 2-, 3-, and 5-year hemorrhage-free survival were 88, 80.9, and 80.9%, respectively. Preexisting symptoms were resolved in 11 patients, improved in 14, and stable in 5. Only 2 patients (3.8%) developed new neurological deficit.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that AHR after GKRS was comparable to the recorded AHR of natural history (3.1-4.1%) in previous studies. GKRS is a safe and effective treatment modality for CMs of basal ganglia and thalamus. Considering the relative insufficient understanding of natural history of CMs, future study warrants longer follow-up.

Keywords: Basal ganglia; Cavernous malformations; Gamma knife radiosurgery; Hemorrhage; Thalamus.