Chained lightning, part II: Neurosurgical principles, radiosurgical technology, and the manipulation of energy beam delivery

Daniel J. Hoh, Charles Y. Liu, Joseph C.T. Chen, Paul G. Pagnini, Cheng Yu, Michael Y. Wang, Michael L.J. Apuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE in the radiosurgical treatment of neurological conditions is the delivery of energy to a lesion with minimal injury to surrounding structures. The development of radiosurgical techniques from Leksell's original design has focused on the refinement of various methodologies to achieve energy containment within a target. This article is the second in a series reviewing the evolution of radiosurgical instruments with respect to issues of energy beam generation and delivery for improved conformal therapy.Continuing with concepts introduced in an earlier article, this article examines specific aspects of beam delivery and the emergence of stereotactic radiosurgery as a measure for focusing energy beams within a target volume. The application of stereotactic principles and devices to gamma ray and linear accelerator-based energy sources provides the methodology by which energy beams are generated and targeted precisely in a focal lesion. Advanced technological systems are reviewed, including fixed beams, dynamic radiosurgery, multileaf collimation, beam shaping, and robotics as various approaches for manipulating beam delivery. Radiosurgical instruments are also compared with regard to mechanics, geometry, and dosimetry. Finally, new radiosurgical designs currently on the horizon are introduced. In exploring the complex history of radiosurgery, it is evident that the discovery and rediscovery of ideas invariably leads to the development of innovative technology for the next generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-446
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Medical technology
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Radiation oncology
  • Radiation physics
  • Radiosurgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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