Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 May 1;62(1):38-43.

Where to locate the isocenter? The treatment strategy for repeat trigeminal neuralgia radiosurgery.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032-3784, USA.



The purpose of this study is to investigate how the spatial relationship between the isocenters of the first and second radiosurgeries affects the overall outcome.


We performed a retrospective study on 40 patients who had repeat gamma knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia. Only one 4-mm isocenter was applied in both first and second radiosurgeries, with a maximum radiation dose of 75 Gy and 40 Gy, respectively. The MR scan of the first radiosurgery was registered to that of the second radiosurgery by a landmark-based registration algorithm. The spatial relationship between the isocenter of the first and the second radiosurgeries was thus determined. The investigating parameters were the distance between the isocenters of the two separate radiosurgeries and isocenter proximity to the brainstem. The outcome end points were pain relief and dysesthesias. The median follow-up for the repeat radiosurgery was 28 months (range, 6-51 months).


Pain relief was complete in 11 patients, nearly complete (> or =90%) in 7 patients, partial (> or =50%) in 8 patients, and minimal (<50%) or none in another 14 patients. The mean distance between the two isocenters was 2.86 mm in the complete or nearly complete pain relief group vs. 1.93 mm in the others. Farther distance between isocenters was associated with a trend toward better pain relief (p = 0.057). The proximity of the second isocenter to the brainstem did not affect pain relief, and neither did placing the second isocenter proximal or distal to the brainstem compared with the first one. Three patients developed moderate dysesthesias (score of 4 on a 0-10 scale), and 2 other patients developed more significant dysesthesias (score of 7) after the second radiosurgery. Dysesthesias related neither to distance between isocenters nor to which isocenter was closer to the brainstem.


Image registration between MR scans of the first and second radiosurgeries helps target delineation and radiosurgery treatment planning. Increasing the isocenter distance between the two radiosurgeries treated a longer segment of the trigeminal neuralgia nerve and was associated with a trend toward improved pain relief.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center