Acute symptoms after gamma knife radiosurgery

Edward J. St. George, J. Kudhail, Julian R Perks, P. N. Plowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Object. The purpose of this study was to examine the widely held assumption that early-onset symptoms after gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) are uncommon. The study was designed to include all types of morbidity and not just those that lead to neurological dysfunction. It was hoped that the results of the study could lead to a more rational follow-up protocol. Methods. Data regarding adverse events were collected prospectively (within 2-3 weeks post-GKS) by telephone interview from 47 of the first 65 patients who could be reached. Immediate adverse events were defined as any new or unexpected symptom developing within 2 weeks of treatment and were graded as mild, moderate, or severe. Two thirds of all patients complained of new adverse symptoms; three patients required prolonged hospitalization, although in one case this was not related to the radiosurgery. The majority of symptomatic patients (91%) experienced mild or moderate complications. More than 50% of patients had headache. One third described pin site-related complications and one fifth suffered from nausea/vomiting or marked tiredness. Patients with moderate symptoms had a larger mean tumor volume and higher radiation dose than other patient groups. Prior radiation therapy, lesion type, or the posttreatment administration of steroid agents did not significantly influence the development of acute symptoms. Conclusions. Acute adverse events following GKS are not uncommon if all types of morbidity are considered. An increased appreciation of these other complications may improve posttreatment care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-634
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute symptom
  • Gamma knife
  • Radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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