Hippocampal sparing in patients receiving radiosurgery for ≥25 brain metastases

Ami Kavi, Jason Gurewitz, Carolina G. Benjamin, Joshua S. Silverman, Kenneth Bernstein, Monica Mureb, Cheongeun Oh, Erik P. Sulman, Bernadine Donahue, Douglas Kondziolka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose/objectives: To report our dosimetric analysis of the hippocampi (HC) and the incidence of perihippocampal tumor location in patients with ≥25 brain metastases who received stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in single or multiple sessions. Materials/methods: Analysis of our prospective registry identified 89 patients treated with SRS for ≥25 brain metastases. HC avoidance regions (HA-region) were created on treatment planning MRIs by 5 mm expansion of HC. Doses from each session were summed to calculate HC dose. The distribution of metastases relative to the HA-region and the HC was analyzed. Results: Median number of tumors irradiated per patient was 33 (range 25–116) in a median of 3 (range 1–12) sessions. Median bilateral HC Dmin (D100), D40, D50, Dmax, and Dmean (Gy) was 1.88, 3.94, 3.62, 16.6, and 3.97 for all patients, and 1.43, 2.99, 2.88, 5.64, and 3.07 for patients with tumors outside the HA-region. Multivariate linear regression showed that the median HC D40, D50, and Dmin were significantly correlated with the tumor number and tumor volume (p < 0.001). Of the total 3059 treated tumors, 83 (2.7%) were located in the HA-region in 57% evaluable patients; 38 tumors (1.2%) abutted or involved the HC itself. Conclusions: Hippocampal dose is higher in patients with tumors in the HA-region; however, even for patients with a high burden of intracranial disease and tumors located in the HA-regions, SRS affords hippocampal sparing. This is particularly relevant in light of our finding of eventual perihippocampal metastases in more than half of our patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Brain metastases
  • Gamma Knife
  • Hippocampal avoidance
  • Hippocampal avoidant whole brain radiation therapy
  • Hippocampal sparing
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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