Introduction Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is effective and safe for the treatment of the vast majority of brain metastases (BMs). SRS is increasingly used for the simultaneous treatment of multiple lesions, retreatment of recurrence, or subsequent treatment of new lesions. Although radiation injury is relatively uncommon, with the increased utilization of SRS, it is imperative to develop approaches to assess and mitigate radiation-induced neurologic toxicity. Multiple factors influence the development of radiation injury, including patient age, genomic variations, prior treatment, dose and volume treated, and anatomic location. Functional neural structure proximity to SRS targets is a critical factor in developing a systematic integrated risk assessment for SRS patients. Methods We developed an approach for risk assessment based on the combinatorial application of i) the anatomic localization of target lesions using a reference neuroanatomical/functional imaging atlas merged with patient-specific imaging and ii) validation with functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging MRI (DTI-MRI) to identify neural tracts. Results In the case of a thalamic/midbrain junction breast carcinoma metastasis, the reference image analysis revealed proximity to the corticospinal tract (CST), which was validated by functional DTI-MRI. Dose-volume exposure of the CST could be estimated and considered in the development of a final treatment plan. Conclusion Merging pretreatment MR imaging with neuroanatomical/functional reference MRIs and subsequent validation with fMRI or DTI-MRI may prove to be a valuable approach to screen for neural risks in individual SRS patients. Incorporating this approach in larger studies could further our understanding of dose tolerances in a broad range of neural structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e6161
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 14 2019


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