Gamma Knife Applications in and around the Pituitary Fossa

  • Jeremy C. Ganz


The pituitary region was one of the first regions to be attacked therapeutically, with open stereotactic technique. This is because the soft tissues have a relatively fixed relationship to the base of the skull and could be outlined with adequate detail, using different forms of air study. In consequence, adequate localization of the pituitary region, for puncture of cysts located in that region, was available at an early date. Thus, Leksell’s very first patient in his first frame was treated with instillation of 32P into a craniopharyngioma cyst; as early as 1948. Moreover, Wycis had treated a cystic pituitary adenoma with intracavity 32P in 1954. However, the use of this isotope against pituitary adenomas never really caught on. It was Backlund who first began the systematic treatment of tumours of this region with stereotactic technique, using the intracavity instillation of Yttrium-90 to treat craniopharyngioma cysts. This treatment was to prove highly successful. Thus, it was natural that one of Backlund’s patients should be the first candidate for Gamma Knife surgery, as mentioned in chapter 6.


Pituitary Adenoma Cavernous Sinus Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiosurgery Gamma Knife Surgery 
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Suggested Further Reading

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    Backlund E-O, Axelsson B, Bergstrand C-G, Eriksson A L, Norén G, Ribbesjö, Rähn T, Schnell P-O, Tallstedt L, Sääf M, Thorén M (1989) Treatment of craniopharyngiomas - the stereotactic approach in an ten to twenty three years’ perspective. I. Surgical, radiological and ophthalmological aspects. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 99: 11–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Sääf M, Thorén M, Bergstrand C-G, Norén G, Rähn T, Tallstedt L, Backlund E-O (1989) Treatment of craniopharyngiomas - the stereotactic approach in an ten to twenty three years’ perspective. I. Psychosocial situation and pituitary function. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 99: 97–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Backlund E-O (1972) Studies on craniopharyngiomas III. Stereotaxic treatment with intracystic yttrium-90. Acta Chir Scand 139: 237–247Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy C. Ganz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity School of MedicineGrazAustria

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