Salvage craniotomy for treatment-refractory symptomatic cerebral radiation necrosis

Ashish H. Shah, Anil K. Mahavadi, Alexis Morell, Daniel G. Eichberg, Evan Luther, Christopher A. Sarkiss, Alexa Semonche, Michael E. Ivan, Ricardo J. Komotar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The incidence of symptomatic radiation necrosis (RN) has risen as radiotherapy is increasingly used to control brain tumor progression. Traditionally managed with steroids, symptomatic RN can remain refractory to medical treatment, requiring surgical intervention for control. The purpose of our study was to assess a single institution's experience with craniotomy for steroid-refractory pure RN. Methods: The medical records of all tumor patients who underwent craniotomies at our institution from 2011 to 2016 were retrospectively reviewed for a history of preoperative radiotherapy or radiosurgery. RN was confirmed histopathologically and patients with active tumor were excluded. Preoperative, intraoperative, and outcome information was collected. Primary outcomes measured were postoperative KPS and time to steroid freedom. Results: Twenty-four patients with symptomatic RN were identified. Gross total resection was achieved for all patients. Patients with metastases experienced an increase in KPS (80 vs 100, P <. 001) and required a shortened course of dexamethasone vs patients with high-grade gliomas (3.4 vs 22.2 weeks, P =. 003). RN control and neurological improvement at 13.3 months' follow-up were 100% and 66.7%, respectively. Adrenal insufficiency after rapidly tapering dexamethasone was the only morbidity (n = 1). Overall survival was 93.3% (14/15) at 1 year. Conclusion: In cases of treatment-refractory symptomatic RN, resection can lead to an overall improvement in postoperative health status and neurological outcomes with minimal RN recurrence. Craniotomy for surgically accessible RN can safely manage symptomatic patients, and future studies assessing the efficacy of resection vs bevacizumab may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 31 2020

Keywords

  • metastatic brain tumor
  • outcomes
  • primary brain tumor
  • radiation necrosis
  • salvage craniotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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