Publications by authors named "Luca Attuati"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Clinical and radiologic outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery for meningiomas in direct contact with the optic apparatus: an international multicenter study.

J Neurosurg 2021 Sep 24:1-7. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

17Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

Objective: Resection of meningiomas in direct contact with the anterior optic apparatus carries risk of injury to the visual pathway. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) offers a minimally invasive alternative. However, its use is limited owing to the risk of radiation-induced optic neuropathy. Few SRS studies have specifically assessed the risks and benefits of treating meningiomas in direct contact with the optic nerve, chiasm, or optic tract. The authors hypothesized that SRS is safe for select patients with meningiomas in direct contact with the anterior optic apparatus.

Methods: The authors performed an international multicenter retrospective analysis of 328 patients across 11 institutions. All patients had meningiomas in direct contract with the optic apparatus. Patients were followed for a median duration of 56 months after SRS. Neurological examinations, including visual function evaluations, were performed at follow-up visits. Clinical and treatment variables were collected at each site according to protocol. Tumor volumes were assessed with serial MR imaging. Variables predictive of visual deficit were identified using univariable and multivariable logistic regression.

Results: SRS was the initial treatment modality for 64.6% of patients, and 93% of patients received SRS as a single fraction. Visual information was available for 302 patients. Of these patients, visual decline occurred in 29 patients (9.6%), of whom 12 (41.4%) had evidence of tumor progression. Visual decline in the remaining 17 patients (5.6%) was not associated with tumor progression. Pre-SRS Karnofsky Performance Status predicted visual decline in adjusted analysis (adjusted OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.9-1.0, p < 0.01). Follow-up imaging data were available for 322 patients. Of these patients, 294 patients (91.3%) had radiographic evidence of stability or tumor regression at last follow up. Symptom duration was associated with tumor progression in adjusted analysis (adjusted OR 1.01, adjusted 95% CI 1.0-1.02, adjusted p = 0.02).

Conclusions: In this international multicenter study, the vast majority of patients exhibited tumor control and preservation of visual function when SRS was used to treat meningioma in direct contact with the anterior optic pathways. SRS is a relatively safe treatment modality for select patients with perioptic meningiomas in direct contact with the optic apparatus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.JNS21328DOI Listing
September 2021

Dose to neuroanatomical structures surrounding pituitary adenomas and the effect of stereotactic radiosurgery on neuroendocrine function: an international multicenter study.

J Neurosurg 2021 Sep 24:1-9. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

20Centro Gamma Knife Dominicano and Radiology Department, CEDIMAT, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Objective: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) provides a safe and effective therapeutic modality for patients with pituitary adenomas. The mechanism of delayed endocrine deficits based on targeted radiation to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis remains unclear. Radiation to normal neuroendocrine structures likely plays a role in delayed hypopituitarism after SRS. In this multicenter study by the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF), the authors aimed to evaluate radiation tolerance of structures surrounding pituitary adenomas and identify predictors of delayed hypopituitarism after SRS for these tumors.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of patients with pituitary adenomas who underwent single-fraction SRS from 1997 to 2019 at 16 institutions within the IRRF. Dosimetric point measurements of 14 predefined neuroanatomical structures along the hypothalamus, pituitary stalk, and normal pituitary gland were made. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the impact of doses to critical structures on clinical, radiographic, and endocrine outcomes.

Results: The study cohort comprised 521 pituitary adenomas treated with SRS. Tumor control was achieved in 93.9% of patients over a median follow-up period of 60.1 months, and 22.5% of patients developed new loss of pituitary function with a median treatment volume of 3.2 cm3. Median maximal radiosurgical doses to the hypothalamus, pituitary stalk, and normal pituitary gland were 1.4, 7.2, and 11.3 Gy, respectively. Nonfunctioning adenoma status, younger age, higher margin dose, and higher doses to the pituitary stalk and normal pituitary gland were independent predictors of new or worsening hypopituitarism. Neither the dose to the hypothalamus nor the ratio between doses to the pituitary stalk and gland were significant predictors. The threshold of the median dose to the pituitary stalk for new endocrinopathy was 10.7 Gy in a single fraction (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.17-2.68, p = 0.006).

Conclusions: SRS for the treatment of pituitary adenomas affords a high tumor control rate with an acceptable risk of new or worsening endocrinopathy. This evaluation of point dosimetry to adjacent neuroanatomical structures revealed that doses to the pituitary stalk, with a threshold of 10.7 Gy, and doses to the normal gland significantly increased the risk of post-SRS hypopituitarism. In patients with preserved pre-SRS neuroendocrine function, limiting the dose to the pituitary stalk and gland while still delivering an optimal dose to the tumor appears prudent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.JNS203812DOI Listing
September 2021

Stereotactic radiosurgery for clinoid meningiomas: a multi-institutional study.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2021 10 24;163(10):2861-2869. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Gamma Knife Center, Mayfield Clinic, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Purpose: Resection of clinoid meningiomas can be associated with significant morbidity. Experience with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for clinoid meningiomas remains limited. We studied the safety and effectiveness of SRS for clinoid meningiomas.

Methods: From twelve institutions participating in the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation, we pooled patients treated with SRS for radiologically suspected or histologically confirmed WHO grade I clinoid meningiomas.

Results: Two hundred seven patients (median age: 56 years) underwent SRS for clinoid meningiomas. Median treatment volume was 8.02 cm, and 87% of tumors were immediately adjacent to the optic apparatus. The median tumor prescription dose was 12 Gy, and the median maximal dose to the anterior optic apparatus was 8.5 Gy. During a median post-SRS imaging follow-up of 51.1 months, 7% of patients experienced tumor progression. Greater margin SRS dose (HR = 0.700, p = 0.007) and pre-SRS radiotherapy (HR = 0.004, p < 0.001) were independent predictors of better tumor control. During median visual follow-up of 48 months, visual function declined in 8% of patients. Pre-SRS visual deficit (HR = 2.938, p = 0.048) and maximal radiation dose to the optic apparatus of ≥ 10 Gy (HR = 11.297, p = 0.02) independently predicted greater risk of post-SRS visual decline. Four patients experienced new post-SRS cranial nerve V neuropathy.

Conclusions: SRS allows durable control of clinoid meningiomas and visual preservation in the majority of patients. Greater radiosurgical prescription dose is associated with better tumor control. Radiation dose to the optic apparatus of ≥ 10 Gy and visual impairment before the SRS increase risk of visual deterioration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-021-04972-3DOI Listing
October 2021

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Olfactory Groove Meningiomas: An International, Multicenter Study.

Neurosurgery 2021 Oct;89(5):784-791

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Background: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is increasingly considered for selected olfactory groove meningiomas (OGMs).

Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of SRS for OGMs.

Methods: From 20 institutions participating in the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation, we pooled patients who underwent SRS for histologically confirmed or radiologically suspected WHO grade I OGMs and were followed for 6 mo or more after the SRS.

Results: In total, 278 (median age 57 yr) patients underwent SRS for histologically confirmed (29%) or radiologically suspected (71%) WHO grade I OGMs Median treatment volume was 4.60 cm3 (range: 0.12-27.3 cm3), median prescription dose was 12 Gy, and median dose to the olfactory nerve was 11.20 Gy. During median post-SRS imaging follow-up of 39 mo (range: 6-240 mo), 43% of patients had partial or marginal response, 54% of patients had stable disease, and 3% of patients experienced progression. During median post-SRS clinical follow-up of 51 mo (range: 6-240 mo), 36 (13%) patients experienced clinical and/or radiological adverse radiation events (AREs). Elevated risk of AREs was associated with larger OGM volume (P = .009) and pre-SRS peritumoral T2/fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery signal abnormalities (P < .001). After the SRS, olfaction remained stable, improved, or deteriorated in 90%, 8%, and 2% of patients, respectively. Complete post-SRS anosmia was predicted by partial/complete anosmia before the SRS (odds ratio [OR] = 83.125; 95% CI [24.589-281.01], P < .001) and prior resection of OGM (OR = 3.919; 95% CI [1.713-8.970], P = .001).

Conclusion: SRS is associated with durable local control of the majority of OGM patients with acceptable safety profile. SRS allows preservation or improvement of olfactory function in the majority of OGM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab291DOI Listing
October 2021

Medial thalamotomy using stereotactic radiosurgery for intractable pain: a systematic review.

Neurosurg Rev 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Neurosurgery, Humanitas Research Hospital IRCCS, via Manzoni 56, 20089, Rozzano, MI, Italy.

Medial thalamotomy using stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a potential treatment for intractable pain. However, the ideal treatment parameters and expected outcomes from this procedure remain unclear. The aim of this systematic review is to provide further insights on medial thalamotomy using SRS, specifically for intractable pain. A systematic review was performed to identify all clinical articles discussing medial thalamotomy using SRS for intractable pain. Only studies in which SRS was used to target the medial thalamus for pain were included. For centers with multiple publications, care was taken to avoid recounting individual patients. The literature review revealed six studies describing outcomes of medial thalamotomy using SRS for a total of 125 patients (118 included in the outcome analysis). Fifty-two patients were treated for cancer pain across three studies, whereas five studies included 73 patients who were treated for nonmalignant pain. The individual studies demonstrated initial meaningful pain reduction in 43.3-100% of patients, with an aggregate initial meaningful pain reduction in 65 patients (55%) following SRS medial thalamotomy. This effect persisted in 45 patients (38%) at the last follow-up. Adverse events were observed in six patients (5%), which were related to radiation in five patients (4%). Medial thalamotomy using SRS is effective for select patients with treatment-resistant pain and is remarkably safe when modern radiation delivery platforms are used. More posteriorly placed lesions within the medial thalamus were associated with better pain relief. More studies are warranted to shed light on differences in patient responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10143-021-01561-xDOI Listing
May 2021

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for the Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: A Single-Center Retrospective Study and Literature Review.

World Neurosurg 2021 05 25;149:e92-e100. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Neurosurgery, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center - IRCCS, Rozzano (Mi), Italy.

Objective: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is a challenging condition to manage that is treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS). The aim of this report is to assess the safety, efficacy, and durability of GKRS for the treatment of TN in patients with MS. Our findings are compared with those of the existing literature and discussed.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients at our institution who underwent GKRS for the treatment of TN secondary to MS and had 1 or more years of follow-up. Preoperative and postoperative pain intensities and facial numbness were evaluated with the Barrow Neurological Institute scores. Durability of successful pain relief was statistically evaluated with Kaplan-Meier analysis. The prognostic role of perioperative factors was investigated and analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: There were 29 patients with MS-TN who underwent GKRS at our institution. Two patients underwent bilateral treatment. Four patients underwent repeat GKRS for pain recurrence. The median period of follow-up assessment was 33 months. Rates of reasonable pain reduction at 1, 3, and 5 years were 70%, 57%, and 57% respectively. All patients who underwent repeat GKRS had durable pain reduction. No prognostic factor for successful pain reduction was found.

Conclusions: Our study shows that GKRS for the treatment of TN secondary to MS is a safe and effective procedure in controlling pain in the short term but often fails to provide long-term pain control. GKRS can be safely repeated to prolong the time of pain reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2021.02.074DOI Listing
May 2021

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Perioptic Meningiomas: An International, Multicenter Study.

Neurosurgery 2021 03;88(4):828-837

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado.

Background: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is increasingly used for management of perioptic meningiomas.

Objective: To study the safety and effectiveness of SRS for perioptic meningiomas.

Methods: From 12 institutions participating in the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF), we retrospectively assessed treatment parameters and outcomes following SRS for meningiomas located within 3 mm of the optic apparatus.

Results: A total of 438 patients (median age 51 yr) underwent SRS for histologically confirmed (29%) or radiologically suspected (71%) perioptic meningiomas. Median treatment volume was 8.01 cm3. Median prescription dose was 12 Gy, and median dose to the optic apparatus was 8.50 Gy. A total of 405 patients (93%) underwent single-fraction SRS and 33 patients (7%) underwent hypofractionated SRS. During median imaging follow-up of 55.6 mo (range: 3.15-239 mo), 33 (8%) patients experienced tumor progression. Actuarial 5-yr and 10-yr progression-free survival was 96% and 89%, respectively. Prescription dose of ≥12 Gy (HR: 0.310; 95% CI [0.141-0.679], P = .003) and single-fraction SRS (HR: 0.078; 95% CI [0.016-0.395], P = .002) were associated with improved tumor control. A total of 31 (10%) patients experienced visual decline, with actuarial 5-yr and 10-yr post-SRS visual decline rates of 9% and 21%, respectively. Maximum dose to the optic apparatus ≥10 Gy (HR = 2.370; 95% CI [1.086-5.172], P = .03) and tumor progression (HR = 4.340; 95% CI [2.070-9.097], P < .001) were independent predictors of post-SRS visual decline.

Conclusion: SRS provides durable tumor control and quite acceptable rates of vision preservation in perioptic meningiomas. Margin dose of ≥12 Gy is associated with improved tumor control, while a dose to the optic apparatus of ≥10 Gy and tumor progression are associated with post-SRS visual decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyaa544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8517876PMC
March 2021

Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

J Neurosurg 2020 Jul 24:1-9. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

1Department of Neurosurgery, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center-IRCCS, Rozzano (Milano), Italy.

Objective: The goal of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of stereotactic central lateral thalamotomy with Gamma Knife radiosurgery in patients with neuropathic pain.

Methods: Clinical and radiosurgical data were prospectively collected and analyzed in patients with neuropathic pain who underwent Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy. The safety and efficacy of the lesioning procedure were evaluated by neurological examination and standardized scales for pain intensity and health-related quality of life. Visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), EuroQol-5 dimensions (EQ-5D), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, version 2 (SF-36v2) were measured during baseline and postoperative follow-up evaluations at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months.

Results: Eight patients with neuropathic pain underwent Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy. Four patients suffered from trigeminal deafferentation pain, 2 from brachial plexus injury, 1 from central poststroke facial neuropathic pain, and 1 from postherpetic neuralgia. No lesioning-related adverse effect was recorded during the follow-up periods. All patients had pain reduction following thalamotomy. The mean follow-up time was 24 months. At the last follow-up visits, 5 patients reported ≥ 50% VAS pain reduction. The overall mean VAS pain score was 9.4 (range 8-10) before radiosurgery. After 1 year, the mean VAS pain score decreased significantly, from 9.4 (range 8-10) to 5.5 (mean -41.33%, p = 0.01). MPQ scores significantly decreased (mean -22.18%, p = 0.014). Statistically significant improvements of the SF-36v2 quality of life survey (mean +48.16%, p = 0.012) and EQ-5D (+45.16%, p = 0.012) were observed. At 2 years after radiosurgery, the VAS pain score remained significantly reduced to a mean value of 5.5 (p = 0.027). Statistically significant improvements were also observed for the MPQ (mean -16.05%, p = 0.034); the EQ-5D (mean +35.48%, p = 0.028); and the SF-36v2 (mean +35.84%, p = 0.043). At the last follow-up visits, pain had recurred in 2 patients, who were suffering from central poststroke neuropathic pain and brachial plexus injury, respectively.

Conclusions: Safe, nonpharmacological therapies are imperative for the management of refectory chronic pain conditions. The present series demonstrates that Gamma Knife central lateral thalamotomy is safe and potentially effective in the long term for relieving chronic neuropathic pain refractory to pharmacotherapy and for restoring quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.4.JNS20558DOI Listing
July 2020

Performing Gamma Knife radiosurgery safely during the COVID-19 pandemic: preliminary results from a single center in the Lombardy region in Italy.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2020 Jul 18;162(7):1505-1506. Epub 2020 May 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center - IRCCS, via Manzoni 56, 20089, Milan, Rozzano, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00701-020-04400-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7233672PMC
July 2020

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Short Unilateral Neuralgiform Headache Attacks with Conjunctival Injection and Tearing (SUNCT) Syndrome: Targeting the Trigeminal Nerve and the Sphenopalatine Ganglion. Case Report and Literature Review.

World Neurosurg 2020 Jan 10;133:167-171. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Neurosurgery, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center - IRCCS, Via Alessandro Manzoni, 56, 22089, Rozzano - Milano, Italy.

Background: Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) is a primary headache syndrome with an unclear pathogenesis, and only in very few cases, SUNCT is secondary to known lesions (secondary SUNCT). Several pharmacological as well as interventional and invasive treatments have been used to treat SUNT cases, with no definitive results. We describe a patient with idiopathic SUNCT syndrome, successfully treated with gamma knife radiosurgery and we report a review of the cases of the literature treated with radiosurgery.

Case Report: A 63-year-old woman complained of episodes of intense and regular paroxysmal facial pain in the territory of the maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve accompanied by inflammation of conjunctiva and involuntary lacrimation from 2006. During the following years, she received several treatments: combination of drugs, acupuncture, and endonasal infiltration of the sphenopalatine ganglion. The frequency of the painful attacks increased progressively and it was impossible for her to have a normal active life. Combined gamma knife radiosurgery treatment, targeting the trigeminal nerve (80 Gy maximum dose) and the sphenopalatine ganglion (80 Gy maximum dose) was performed in April 2016 (visual analog score before treatment = 6). Pain gradually reduced in the following months, as well as frequency and severity of the attacks. No sensory deficit developed. The follow-up length of our patient is 37 months: she is nearly pain free (visual analog score = 2) and has resumed a normal life.

Conclusions: Patients with idiopathic SUNCT have few therapeutic options. Our case demonstrates that gamma knife radiosurgery is a feasible and effective noninvasive option to treat patients with medically refractory idiopathic SUNCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2019.10.016DOI Listing
January 2020

Gamma Knife radiosurgery for the treatment of Nelson's syndrome: a multicenter, international study.

J Neurosurg 2019 Jul 12:1-6. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Nelson's syndrome is a rare and challenging neuroendocrine disorder, and it is associated with elevated adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) level, skin hyperpigmentation, and pituitary adenoma growth. Management options including resection and medical therapy are traditional approaches. Ionizing radiation in the form of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is also being utilized to treat Nelson's syndrome. In the current study the authors sought to better define the therapeutic role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in Nelson's syndrome.

Methods: Study patients with Nelson's syndrome were treated with single-fraction GKRS (median margin dose of 25 Gy) at 6 different centers as part of an International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF) investigation. Data including neurological function, endocrine response, and radiological tumor response were collected and sent to the study-coordinating center for review. Fifty-one patients with median endocrine and radiological follow-ups of 91 and 80.5 months from GKRS, respectively, were analyzed for endocrine remission, tumor control, and neurological outcome. Statistical methods were used to identify prognostic factors for these endpoints.

Results: At last follow-up, radiological tumor control was achieved in 92.15% of patients. Endocrine remission off medical management and reduction in pre-SRS ACTH level were achieved in 29.4% and 62.7% of patients, respectively. Improved remission rates were associated with a shorter time interval between resection and GKRS (p = 0.039). Hypopituitarism was seen in 21.6% and new visual deficits were demonstrated in 15.7% of patients.

Conclusions: GKRS affords a high rate of pituitary adenoma control and improvement in ACTH level for the majority of Nelson's syndrome patients. Hypopituitarism is the most common adverse effect from GKRS in Nelson's syndrome patients and warrants longitudinal follow-up for detection and endocrine replacement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.4.JNS19273DOI Listing
July 2019

Multimodal Management of Metastatic Malignant Meningiomas: The Role of Radiosurgery in Long-Term Local Control.

World Neurosurg 2019 Aug 16;128:562-572. Epub 2019 May 16.

Department of Neurosurgery, Functional Radiosurgery and Gamma Knife Unit-IRCCS Humanitas Clinical and Research Hospital, Rozzano, Milan, Italy.

Background: Metastatic meningiomas (MMs) are rare (0.1 of 100 cases). Their treatment requires a multimodal approach, with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiosurgery, which allows a long-term local control (LC) and an extension of free survival. In this study, the authors performed a review of the literature and reported 2 cases of patients affected by extracranial MMs, with long-term follow-up.

Case Description: Case 1: A 48-year-old woman was admitted for resection of an extra-axial falx lesion (meningioma G1). After 2 years, the lesion got a local recurrence, resected with a histologic diagnosis of meningioma G3. During the next 9 years, the patient underwent 5 Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) procedures for local recurrence. At 56 years, she was readmitted for a surgical local recurrence (histologic definition: anaplastic meningioma G3). At the age of 62, the patient underwent a right lobectomy for a lung mass (histologic diagnosis: anaplastic meningioma G3). After that, multiple lesions at soma L5 and adrenal gland were discovered and then monitored. Case 2: A 48-year-old woman was operated for a lesion involving torcular herophili (meningioma G2). After 3 years, a local recurrence requires GKRS combined with tamoxifen. In the next 7 years, she underwent 5 GKRS procedures for local recurrence. The patient also underwent chemotherapy with octreotide. At the age of 61, she discovered multiple lesions in both lungs, liver, and kidney. A hepatic biopsy showed anaplastic meningioma G3. Also this patient does not suffer from any neurologic or clinical deficits.

Conclusions: LC in malignant meningioma is achievable through a multimodal approach; GKRS makes possible LC, but a novel aspect of these lesions is opened to discussion: the metastases. These reports show that multimodal treatment for MMs is an effective approach with good LC and improvement of overall survival. However, a long survival may allow systemic diffusion of the disease, in particular, when sagittal sinus is involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2019.05.058DOI Listing
August 2019

Radiation exposure in spine surgery using an image-guided system based on intraoperative cone-beam computed tomography: analysis of 107 consecutive cases.

J Neurosurg Spine 2016 Nov 24;25(5):654-659. Epub 2016 Jun 24.

Neurosurgery Department.

OBJECTIVE The O-arm system in spine surgery allows greater accuracy, lower rate of screw misplacement, and reduced surgical time. Some concerns have been postulated regarding the radiation doses to patients and surgeons. To the best of the authors' knowledge, most of the studies in the literature were performed with the use of phantoms. The authors present data regarding radiation exposure of the surgeon and operating room (OR) staff in a consecutive series of patients undergoing spine surgery. METHODS Radiation exposure data were collected in a series of 107 patients who underwent spine surgery using the O-arm system. The doses received by the surgeon and the staff were collected using electronic dosimeters. RESULTS All patients underwent 1-3 scans. The mean radiation dose to the patients was 5.15 mSv (range 1.48-7.64 mSv). The mean dose registered for the scan operator was 0.005 μSv (range 0.00-0.03 μSv) while the other members of the surgical team positioned outside the OR received 0 μSv. CONCLUSIONS The O-arm system exposes patients to a higher radiation dose than standard fluoroscopy. However, considering the clear advantages of this system, this adjunctive dose can be considered acceptable. Moreover, the effective dose to the patient can be reduced using collimation or minimizing the parameters of the O-arm system used in this paper. The exposure to operators is essentially negligible when radioprotective garments and protocols are adopted as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2016.3.SPINE151139DOI Listing
November 2016

Computed tomography-based image-guided system in spinal surgery: state of the art through 10 years of experience.

Neurosurgery 2015 Mar;11 Suppl 2:59-67; discussion 67-8

*Department of Neurosurgery, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Italy; ‡Department of Radiology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Italy; §Istituto Galeazzi, IRCCS, Milan, Italy; ¶Biostatistic Unit, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Italy.

Background: Image-guided navigation systems (IGS) grant excellent clinical and radiological results, minimizing risks correlated with spinal instrumentation. However, there is some concern regarding the real need for IGS and its indications.

Objective: To analyze the accuracy, technical aspect, and radiation exposure data of the principal IGS based on computed tomography (CT) imaging.

Methods: The data of all patients treated for spinal instrumentation with the aid of an IGS system from January 2003 to March 2013 were retrospectively analyzed. We defined 2 groups: group I with an IGS system based on a preoperative CT scan; group II relied on an intraoperative CT scan. Screw accuracy was assessed with a postoperative CT scan control. Radiation dosage for patients was defined by using the technical parameters and dose report data. Statistical analysis was performed using the Fisher exact test with a significance of 5% (P value < .05).

Results: Two thousand twenty patients and 11,144 screws were analyzed. Group I had 794 patients (4246 screws); the accuracy was 96.1%. Group II had 1226 patients (6898 screws) treated, with 98.5% accuracy (P = .001). The radiation dose analysis showed better results in group II, with significant reduction of the effective dose to the patient.

Conclusion: The IGS based on an intraoperative CT scan grants excellent results, eliminating the rate of reoperation for misplaced instrumentations (screws, plate, and cage) or for inadequate bone decompression. However, this technology cannot replace the surgical skills, experience, and knowledge necessary for spine surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1227/NEU.0000000000000587DOI Listing
March 2015

Management of C1-2 traumatic fractures using an intraoperative 3D imaging-based navigation system.

J Neurosurg Spine 2015 Feb 21;22(2):128-33. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

Departments of 1 Neurosurgery and.

Object: Fractures of C-1 and C-2 are complex and surgical management may be difficult and challenging due to the anatomical relationship sbetween the vertebrae and neurovascular structures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role, reliability, and accuracy of cervical fixation using the O-arm intraoperative 3D image-based navigation system.

Methods: The authors evaluated patients who underwent a navigation system-based surgery for stabilization of a fracture of C-1 and/or C-2 from August 2011 to August 2013. All of the fixation screws were intraoperatively checked and their position was graded.

Results: The patient population comprised 17 patients whose median age was 47.6 years. The surgical procedures were as follows: anterior dens screw fixation in 2 cases, transarticular fixation of C-1 and C-2 in 1 case, fixation using the Harms technique in 12 cases, and occipitocervical fixation in 2 cases. A total of 67 screws were placed. The control intraoperative CT scan revealed 62 screws (92.6%) correctly placed, 4 (5.9%) with a minor cortical violation (<2 mm), and only 1 screw (1.5%) that was judged to be incorrectly placed and that was immediately corrected. No vascular injury of the vertebral artery was observed either during exposition or during screw placement. No implant failure was observed.

Conclusions: The use of a navigation system based on an intraoperative CT allows a real-time visualization of the vertebrae, reducing the risks of screw misplacement and consequent complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2014.10.SPINE14122DOI Listing
February 2015

Assessment of prognostic factors in patients with metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) from solid tumor after surgery plus radiotherapy: a single institution experience.

Eur Spine J 2012 May 10;21 Suppl 1:S146-8. Epub 2012 Mar 10.

Department of Neurosurgery, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano, Italy.

Purpose: To identify potential prognostic factors predicting functional outcome and survival after surgery followed by radiotherapy for metastatic spinal cord compression due to solid tumors.

Methods: 531 consecutive patients with metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) were treated at our institution. Surgery followed by radiation therapy was performed in 151 patients (30%) with various histological diagnoses. Three different surgical procedures were performed: minimal resection with or without instrumented fixation, curettage, and total tumorectomy. Within 1 month after surgery, RT was performed, delivering a total dose of 30-36 Gy (3 Gy per fraction). Ten potential prognostic factors were investigated for relationship with functional outcome and survival.

Results: Clinical remission of pain was obtained in 91% of patients and 94 (62.5%) had recovery of neurological deficit. Recurrence in the same site of treatment occurred in nine (6%) patients. Median survival was 14 months (range 0-52 months); OS at 1, 2, and 3 years was 43.6, 37, and 21.5%, respectively. Survival was significantly associated with the histology of primary tumor (P < 0.001) and visceral metastases (P < 0.001) in the whole group; for histology, the prognostic factors statistically significant were other bone metastases in breast cancer, control of primary tumor, and the absence of visceral metastases in NSCLC and kind of surgery in the other.

Conclusions: The key element for successful treatment of MESCC is multidisciplinary care of the patient, which includes all of those prognostic factors that have been, until now, analyzed and compared. In our set of patients treated for vertebral metastases, PS, time to development of symptoms, and the presence of visceral metastases affected functional outcome and survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-012-2232-0DOI Listing
May 2012

Gamma knife radiosurgery for treatment of cerebral metastases from non-small-cell lung cancer.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2011 Nov 27;81(4):e463-8. Epub 2011 Apr 27.

Radiotherapy Department, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy. mail:

Purpose: To evaluate clinical and physico-dosimetric variables affecting clinical outcome of patients treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods And Materials: Between 2001 and 2006, 373 patients (298 men and 75 women, median age 65 years) with brain metastases from NSCLC underwent GKRS. All of them had KPS ≥ 60%, eight or fewer brain metastases, confirmed histopathological diagnosis and recent work-up (<3 months). Thirty-five patients belonged to recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) Class I, 307 patients were in RPA Class II, 7 patients were in RPA Class III. Median tumor volume was 3.6 cm(3). Median marginal dose was 22.5 Gy at 50% isodose.; median 10 Gy and 12 Gy isodose volumes were 30.8 cm(3) and 15.8 cm(3), respectively. Follow-up with MRI was performed every 3 months. Overall survival data were collected from internal database, telephone interviews, and identifying registries.

Results: Mean follow-up after GKRS was 51 months (range, 6 to 96 months); mean overall survival was 14.2 months. Of 373 patients, 29 were alive at time of writing, 104 had died of cerebral progression, and 176 had died of systemic progression. In 64 cases it was not possible to ascertain the cause. Univariate and multivariate analysis were adjusted for the following: RPA class, surgery, WBRT, age, gender, number of lesions, median tumor volume, median peripheral dose, and 10 Gy and 12 Gy volumes. Identified RPA class and overall tumor volume >5 cc were the only two covariates independently predictive of overall survival in patients who died of cerebral progression.

Conclusions: Global volume of brain disease should be the main parameter to consider for performing GKRS, which is a first-line therapy for patient in good general condition and controlled systemic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.02.051DOI Listing
November 2011

C-11 choline versus F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose for imaging meningiomas: an initial experience.

Clin Nucl Med 2009 Jan;34(1):7-10

Center for Molecular Bioimaging, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) with C-11 choline has been used for staging, restaging, and follow-up of various tumors, whereas its role for imaging meningiomas has only been preliminarily explored. The aim of this study was to compare C-11 choline and F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18 FDG) uptake in meningiomas and relate these findings to the histopathological analysis.

Methods: Two sequential three-dimensional PET/CT scans with 370 MBq (10 mCi) of C-11 choline and 370 MBq (10 mCi) of F-18 FDG were performed 2 hours apart in 7 patients with histologically confirmed meningiomas. Five patients had WHO grade I and 2 had WHO grade II meningioma. For each scan, two-dimensional regions of interest were drawn on tumor boundaries and on the contralateral side on CT images and copied to the corresponding PET images. SUVmax and tumor-to-background ratio were calculated.

Results: Relative to the contralateral side, C-11 choline uptake was increased in all meningiomas, whereas F-18 FDG uptake was decreased in 6 patients and increased in 1 of the 2 patients with grade II meningiomas. In the whole group, SUVmax of C-11 choline and F-18 FDG were 3.6 +/- 1.3 and 5.7 +/- 1.3, respectively. The tumor-to-background ratio for C-11 choline was much higher than that for F-18 FDG (5.3 +/- 0.8 vs. 0.9 +/- 0.2, respectively) (P < 0.001). The uptake of C-11 choline was higher in patients with grade II than in grade I meningiomas.

Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that C-11 choline may better image meningiomas in comparison with F-18 FDG. Clinical applications of C-11 choline PET/CT for grading and follow-up of meningiomas need to be assessed in further studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RLU.0b013e31818f4369DOI Listing
January 2009

A simplified method to integrate metabolic images in stereotactic procedures using a PET/CT scanner.

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg 2005 8;83(5-6):208-12. Epub 2006 Mar 8.

Department of Neurosurgery, IRCCS, Ospedale San Raffaele, Vita Salute University, Milan, Italy.

We have developed a method that needs only the computed tomography (CT) indicator box to coregister positron emission tomography (PET) images and integrates this information with magnetic resonance imaging. The study was performed using a PET/CT scanner. A standard CT bed adapter was attached to the scanner couch. Then, the patient, with the Leksell G frame fixed, was positioned into the scanner with the CT indicator box. PET images were acquired using either [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose or [11C]choline as radioisotopes. After acquisition, CT and PET images were exported in DICOM 3 standard and transferred to a dedicated workstation via data link. Homemade software was implemented for multimodal image fusion. PET images were overwritten to their corresponding CT point values using a threshold algorithm, maintaining the stereotactic CT markers. The use of a CT indicator simplifies the procedure, because there is no need for a radioactive solution filling the indicator box. This method was tested first using a phantom and then in patients. The localization accuracy of the PET images is limited only by the slice thickness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000091951DOI Listing
August 2006

Radiosurgery and the prevention of regrowth of incompletely removed nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.

J Neurosurg 2005 Jan;102 Suppl:71-4

Pituitary Unit of the Department of Neurosurgery, Istituto Scientifico San Raffaele, Università Vita-Salute, Milano, Italy.

Object: The authors studied the efficacy of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) in the prevention of regrowth of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NPA).

Methods: One hundred nineteen patients were included in this study and were divided into two groups. All patients had undergone surgery in our department and recurrent or residual adenoma was demonstrated on postoperative MR imaging. Group A consisted of 68 patients who were followed without additional treatment. Group B was composed of 51 patients who received GKS within 1 year after microsurgery. There was no significant demographic difference between the two groups. In Group B the mean margin dose was 16.5 +/- 0.3 Gy (range 13-21 Gy). Fifty one and one tenth percent of patients in Group A were recurrence free at 5 years and 89.8% in Group B (p < 0.001). In Group B patients, tumor volume decreased from a baseline value of 2.4 +/- 0.2 cm3 to 1.6 +/- 0.2 cm3 at last follow up (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that GKS is effective in controlling growth of residual NPA for at least 5 years following initial maximal surgical debulking compared with no radiation therapy. Thus, GKS is recommended after microsurgery when visible tumor can be detected on imaging studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/jns.2005.102.s_supplement.0071DOI Listing
January 2005
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