Stereotaxic intracavitary irradiation for cystic craniopharyngiomas

I. F. Pollack, L. D. Lunsford, T. L. Slamovits, L. W. Gumerman, G. Levine, A. G. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Stereotaxic intracavitary irradiation with instillation of phosphorus-32 (32P) colloidal chromic phosphate was performed in nine patients with cystic craniopharyngiomas. Serial neurological, ophthalmological, neuroendocrinological, and radiological examinations were performed before and after treatment. Dosimetry was determined based on a computerized tomography (CT) estimation of tumor volume, and was calculated to provide a tumoricidal dose (200 to 300 Gy) to the cyst wall. The follow-up period ranged from 14 to 45 months (mean 27 months). After treatment, all nine patients showed improvement of symptoms and radiological evidence of cyst regression. Because of an expanding solid component producing recurrent symptoms, one patient required a craniotomy 14 months after isotope instillation. Three of five patients with impaired visual acuity before surgery had significant improvement in acuity after treatment. Preoperative visual field defects in eight patients improved in four after 32P therapy. Of seven patients with preoperative endocrine abnormalities, one individual showed almost complete normalization and another had improvement in endocrine function. Patients who exhibited residual neuroendocrine function before isotope instillation developed no significant deterioration in endocrine status during the follow-up period. The findings suggest that stereotaxic intracavitary irradiation is a safe and effective treatment which should be considered as the initial surgery for cystic craniopharyngiomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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