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Radiation-induced Cavernous Malformation as a Late Sequelae of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Epilepsy.


Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a promising treatment for medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. SRS for epilepsy has had an acceptable safety profile with reports of radiation-induced vascular malformations confined to central nervous system pathologies with prominent angiogenesis - namely, primary brain tumors, metastases, and arteriovenous malformations. Theoretical risks for radiation-induced lesions following radiosurgery for epilepsy have yet to be established. Of 13 patients treated in a pilot trial for medial temporal lobe epilepsy, one developed multiple delayed radiation-induced cavernous malformations following radiosurgery. This patient received a prescription dose of 20 Gy delivered to the amygdala, anterior hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus. Eight years following treatment, computed tomography imaging demonstrated an evolving hyperdensity in the mesial temporal lobe. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed multiple T2 hypointense lesions with a mixed-signal intensity core in the left parahippocampal gyrus and anterior temporal lobe. The patient was initially managed conservatively. However, recurrent hemorrhage ultimately caused an acute deterioration in mental status, aphasia, and hemiparesis, necessitating surgical resection. Pathology confirmed radiation-induced cavernous malformations. This represents the first case of a radiation-induced vascular lesion as a long-term sequela of radiosurgery for epilepsy and illustrates the potential for this complication even when low doses are used in patients without angiogenic lesions. Optimal timing and indications for surgical resection of radiation-induced cavernous malformations prior to the development of neurologic symptoms warrant further refinement. Long-term vigilance and clinical monitoring are required.

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