We evaluated for possible predictors of radiation-induced changes (RICs) after gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). We identified the nidal component within AVMs to analyze the correlation between the volume of brain parenchyma within the 50% isodose line (IDL) and RICs. We retrospectively reviewed patients with AVMs who underwent a single-session of GKRS at our institution between 2007 and 2017 with at least a 2-year minimum follow-up. Follow-up magnetic resonance images were evaluated for newly developed T2 signal changes and the proportions of nidus and intervening parenchyma were quantified. A total of 180 AVM patients (98 males and 82 females) with a median age of 34 years were included in the present study. The overall obliteration rate was 67.8%. The median target volume was 3.65 cc. The median nidus and parenchyma volumes within the 50% IDL were 1.54 cc and 2.41 cc, respectively. RICs were identified in 79 of the 180 patients (43.9%). AVMs associated with previous hemorrhages showed a significant inverse correlation with RICs. In a multivariate analysis, RICs were associated with a higher proportion of brain parenchyma within the 50% IDL (hazard ratio (HR) 169.033; p < 0.001) and inversely correlated with the proportion of nidus volume within the 50% IDL (HR 0.006; p < 0.001). Our study identified that a greater proportion of brain tissue between the nidus within the 50% IDL was significantly correlated with RICs. Nidus angioarchitectural complexity and the absence of a prior hemorrhage were also associated with RICs. The identification of possible predictors of RICs could facilitate radiosurgical planning and treatment decisions as well as the planning of appropriate follow-up after GKRS; this could minimize the risk of RICs, which would be particularly beneficial for the treatment of incidentally found asymptomatic AVMs.
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