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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1993 Sep 30;27(2):215-21.

Tolerance of cranial nerves of the cavernous sinus to radiosurgery.

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1
Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Stereotactic radiosurgery is becoming a more accepted treatment option for benign, deep seated intracranial lesions. However, little is known about the effects of large single fractions of radiation on cranial nerves. This study was undertaken to assess the effect of radiosurgery on the cranial nerves of the cavernous sinus.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

We examined the tolerance of cranial nerves (II-VI) following radiosurgery for 62 patients (42/62 with meningiomas) treated for lesions within or near the cavernous sinus. Twenty-nine patients were treated with a modified 6 MV linear accelerator (Joint Center for Radiation Therapy) and 33 were treated with the Gamma Knife (University of Pittsburgh). Three-dimensional treatment plans were retrospectively reviewed and maximum doses were calculated for the cavernous sinus and the optic nerve and chiasm.

RESULTS:

Median follow-up was 19 months (range 3-49). New cranial neuropathies developed in 12 patients from 3-41 months following radiosurgery. Four of these complications involved injury to the optic system and 8 (3/8 transient) were the result of injury to the sensory or motor nerves of the cavernous sinus. There was no clear relationship between the maximum dose to the cavernous sinus and the development of complications for cranial nerves III-VI over the dose range used (1000-4000 cGy). For the optic apparatus, there was a significantly increased incidence of complications with dose. Four of 17 patients (24%) receiving greater than 800 cGy to any part of the optic apparatus developed visual complications compared with 0/35 who received less than 800 cGy (p = 0.009).

CONCLUSION:

Radiosurgery using tumor-controlling doses of up to 4000 cGy appears to be a relatively safe technique in treating lesions within or near the sensory and motor nerves (III-VI) of the cavernous sinus. The dose to the optic apparatus should be limited to under 800 cGy.

PMID:
8407394
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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