Dosimetric Analysis of Neural and Vascular Structures in Skull Base Tumors Treated with Stereotactic Radiosurgery

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To examine the relationship between the prescribed target dose and the dose to healthy neurovascular structures in patients with vestibular schwannomas treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Study Design

Case series with chart review.


SRS center from 2011 to 2013.


Twenty patients with vestibular schwannomas treated at the center from 2011 to 2013.


Twenty patients with vestibular schwannomas were included. The average radiation dose delivered to healthy neurovascular structures (eg, carotid artery, basilar artery, facial nerve, trigeminal nerve, and cochlea) was analyzed.


Twenty patients with vestibular schwannomas who were treated with fused computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging–guided SRS were included in the study. The prescribed dose ranged from 10.58 to 17.40 Gy over 1 to 3 hypofractions to cover 95% of the target tumor volume. The mean dose to the carotid artery was 5.66 Gy (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.53-6.80 Gy), anterior inferior cerebellar artery was 8.70 Gy (95% CI, 4.54-12.86 Gy), intratemporal facial nerve was 3.76 Gy (95% CI, 3.04-4.08 Gy), trigeminal nerve was 5.21 Gy (95% CI, 3.31-7.11 Gy), and the cochlea was 8.70 Gy (95% CI, 7.81-9.59 Gy).


SRS for certain vestibular schwannomas can expose the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) and carotid artery to radiation doses that can potentially initiate atherosclerotic processes. The higher doses to the AICA and carotid artery correlated with increasing tumor volume. The dose delivered to other structures such as the cochlea and intratemporal facial nerve appears to be lower and much less likely to cause immediate complications when shielded.

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