Room: AAPM ePoster Library
Purpose: Stereotactic radiosurgery is a common treatment for trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Assessment of treatment effectiveness is primarily clinical, given the paucity of investigational tools to assess trigeminal nerve changes. The efficiency of radiosurgery is related to its highly precise targeting. We assessed clinically the targeting accuracy of radiosurgery with Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS). We also studied the applied radiation dose within the area of focal contrast enhancement on the trigeminal nerve. Since diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides information on white matter microstructure, we explored the feasibility of trigeminal nerve tractography and assessment of DTI parameters to study microstructural changes after treatment. We hypothesized that trigeminal tractography provides more information than 2D-MR imaging, allowing detection of unique, focal changes in the target area after radiosurgery.
Methods: Twenty TN patients (10 females, 10 male, average age 65 years) treated with GKRS, 40 Gy/500% isodose line underwent 1.5Tesla MR trigeminal nerve . Target accuracy was assessed from deviation of the coordinates of the target compared with the center of enhancement on post MRI. Radiation dose delivered at the borders of contrast enhancement was evaluated.
Results: Trigeminal tractography accurately detected the radiosurgical target. Radiosurgery resulted in 47% drop in FA values at the target with no significant change in FA outside the target, suggesting that radiosurgery primarily affects myelin. Tractography was more sensitive, since FA changes were detected regardless of trigeminal nerve enhancement.
Conclusion: The median deviation found in clinical assessment of gamma knife treatment for TN Is low and compatible with its high rate of efficiency. DTI parameters accurately detect the effects of focal radiosurgery on the trigeminal nerve, serving as an in vivo imaging tool to study TN. This study is a proof of principle for further assessment of DTI parameters to understand the pathophysiology of TN and treatment effects.