Stereotactic radiosurgery of the brain using a standard linear accelerator: a study of early and late effects

Jay S. Loefer, Robert L. Siddon, Patrick Y. Wen, Lucien A. Nedzi, Eben Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Between February 1986 and December 1988, 44 patients were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery using a standard linear accelerator. Twenty one patients were treated for cerebrovascular abnormalities and 23 patients were treated for intracranial tumors. Fifteen of the 23 patients treated for intracranial tumors had received previous radiotherapy. The range of doses given by radiosurgery was 1000-2500 cGy. Nausea and vomiting occurred in seven patients within six hours of treatment. The incidence and symptoms were correlated with the dose of radiation to the vomiting center (area postrema) with the median dose to the postrema in symptomatic patients being 618 cGy compared to a range of <5 to 184 cGy in the remaining 36 asymptomatic patients. Temporary alopecia occurred in a single patient who received 400 cGy to the scalp. Alopecia did not occur in the remaining 43 patients who received from <5 to 175 cGy. Two patients treated for arteriovenous malformations developed an enhancing lesion on CT scanning (one with cerebral edema) on follow-up CT scanning six and twenty-eight months following radiosurgery. The location of these enhancing lesions corresponded to the volumes treated. In one patient, the enhancing pattern and edema disappeared within 18 months of treatment and no neurological deficits developed. Aphasia occurred in one patient treated for a recurrent glioma two hours following treatment to the left temporal lobe and cleared within 12 h of radiosurgery. One patient with an arteriovenous malformation of the pons developed weakness of the contralateral arm and leg six weeks following treatment and this has slowly resolved over the last 12 months. In conclusion, the complications to date have been self-limited and appear to be directly related to the dose and area of brain treated. Prior radiation therapy has not been associated with increased risk of complication in patients treated with radiosurgery for recurrent tumors to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1990


  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Brain tumor
  • Early and late effects
  • Linear accelerator
  • Radiation
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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