BACKGROUND: Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is commonly used in treating small vestibular schwannomas; however, its use for larger vestibular schwannomas is still controversial.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the long-term safety and efficacy of treating eligible Koos grade 4 vestibular schwannomas with GKRS.
METHODS: We conducted a single-center, retrospective evaluation of patient undergoing GKRS for Koos grade 4 vestibular schwannomas. We evaluated clinical, imaging, and treatment characteristics and assessed treatment outcome. Inclusion criteria were tumor size of ≥4 cm3 and follow-up of at least 6 months. Patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 were excluded. Primary outcomes measured were tumor control rate, hearing and facial function preservation rate, and complications. All possible factors were analyzed to assess clinical significance.
RESULTS: Sixty-eight patients met inclusion criteria. Median follow-up was 47 months (range, 6-125 months). Baseline hearing was serviceable in 60%. Median tumor volume at radiosurgery was 7.4 cm3 (range, 4-19 cm3). The median marginal dose used was 12 Gy at the 50% isodose line. Actuarial tumor control rates were 95% and 92% at 2 and 10 years, respectively. Actuarial serviceable hearing preservation rates were 89% and 49% at 2 and 5 years, respectively. Facial nerve preservation was 100%. Clinical complications included balance disturbance (11%), facial pain (10%), facial numbness (5%), and tinnitus (10%). Most complications were mild and transient. Hydrocephalus occurred in 3 patients, requiring ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion. Larger tumor size was significantly associated with persisting symptoms post-treatment.
CONCLUSION: Patients with Koos grade 4 vestibular schwannomas and minimal symptoms can be treated safely and effectively with GKRS.
From “Safety and Efficacy of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for the Management of Koos Grade 4 Vestibular Schwannomas” by Iorio-Morin, C et al.