Stereotactic cyst aspiration directly followed by Gamma Knife radiosurgery for large cystic brain metastases



Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been proven to be a successful primary treatment for metastatic brain tumors (BM). BM can come in cystic lesions and are often too large for GKRS. An alternative approach to treat cystic BM is stereotactic cyst aspiration (SCA) for volume reduction, making it suitable for GKRS afterwards.


Our objective is evaluation of volumetric reduction after SCA, tumor control, and complications after SCA directly followed by GKRS.


We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients who underwent SCA directly followed by GKRS at the Gamma Knife Center of the Elisabeth-Tweesteden Hospital in Tilburg between 2002 and 2015. In total, 54 patients had undergone this combined approach. Two patients were excluded because of prior intracranial treatment. The other 52 patients were included for analysis.


SCA resulted in a mean volumetric reduction of 56.5% (range 5.50–87.00%). In 83.6% of the tumors (46 tumors), SCA led to sufficient volumetric reduction making GKRS possible. The overall local tumor control (OLTC) of the aspirated lesions post-GKRS was 60.9% (28 out of 46 tumors). Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for all patients were 3 (range 5 days–14 months) and 12 months (range 5 days–58 months), respectively. Leptomeningeal disease was reported in 5 (9.6%) cases.


SCA directly followed by GKRS is an effective and time-efficient treatment for large cystic BM in selected patients in which surgery is contraindicated and those with deeply located lesions.

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Correspondence to Zjiwar H. A. Sadik.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Portions of this work were presented as an oral presentation at the 18th Leksell Gamma Knife Society Meeting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 15–19, 2016.

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Brain Tumors

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Sadik, Z.H.A., Hanssens, P.E.J., Verheul, J.B. et al. Stereotactic cyst aspiration directly followed by Gamma Knife radiosurgery for large cystic brain metastases. Acta Neurochir 163, 343–350 (2021).

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  • Stereotactic cyst aspiration
  • Gamma Knife radiosurgery
  • Cystic brain metastases
  • Ommaya reservoir