Diagnosis and treatment of progressive space-occupying radiation necrosis following stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastasis: Value of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy
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¶Background. There have been some reports that radiation necrosis can be controlled conservatively. There are rare cases showing progressive space-occupying radiation necrosis (PSORN). It is very difficult to control PSORN by conservative treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the early diagnosis of those cases and the timing of surgery for patients with PSORN.
Method. We have experienced some cases where quality of life was improved by the removal of PSORN after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases. Therefore, we evaluated retrospectively the diagnosis and treatment of six cases of symptomatic PSORN at approximately 6–12 months after SRS for metastatic brain tumours.
Findings. In all six cases, on Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Gd contrast material (Gd-MRI), PSORN was revealed as a ring-like enhanced mass with large perifocal oedema coupled with the appearance of neurological deficit. Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) enabled us to differentiate PSORN from recurrence of metastases in all six cases. Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography with thallium-201 chloride (201TlCl-SPECT) enabled us to do this in four cases of the six. In four cases of the six, lesionectomy of the ring-like enhanced mass (PSORN) was performed, and in two of these cases the removal was performed within 4 weeks from the time when conservative treatment became ineffective, and the neurological deficit and perifocal oedema was improved as was the quality of life. However, in the other two patients who were left for more than 16 weeks, the deficit was gradually progressive. The two patients who did not receive lesionectomy were treated by conservative means with steroids and/or heparin and warfarin and they had progressive neurological symptoms.
Interpretation. Although, the number of patients is small in this study, and more data will be needed, it is recommended that lesionectomy is performed at an early stage, if possible, when conservative management has failed.
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