Absence of residual tumor tissue after Gamma Knife radiosurgery followed by resection of a vestibular schwannoma: illustrative case

J Neurosurg Case Lessons. 2022 Jan 10;3(2):CASE21614. doi: 10.3171/CASE21614. Print 2022 Jan 10.


Background: Late pathology after vestibular schwannoma radiosurgery is uncommon. The authors presented a case of a resected hemorrhagic mass 13 years after radiosurgery, when no residual tumor was found.

Observations: A 56-year-old man with multiple comorbidities, including myelodysplastic syndrome cirrhosis, received Gamma Knife surgery for a left vestibular schwannoma. After 11 years of stable imaging assessments, the lesion showed gradual growth until a syncopal event occurred 2 years later, accompanied by progressive facial weakness and evidence of intralesional hemorrhage, which led to resection. However, histopathological analysis of the resected specimen showed hemorrhage and reactive tissue but no definitive residual tumor.

Lessons: This case demonstrated histopathological evidence for the role of radiosurgery in complete elimination of tumor tissue. Radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma carries a rare risk for intralesional hemorrhage in select patients.

Keywords: case report; hemorrhage; radiosurgery; vestibular schwannoma.