Article Abstract

Adjacent level fracture incidence in single fraction high dose spinal radiosurgery

Authors: Dennis T. Lockney, Benjamin Hopkins, Natalie A. Lockney, Christian Z. Coleman, Elena Rubin, Eric Lis, Yoshiya Yamada, Adam Schmitt, Daniel Higginson, Mark H. Bilsky, Ilya Laufer


Background: Vertebral body compression fracture (VCF) is a complication following spinal stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). However, the incidence of VCF in vertebrae adjacent to the level of SRS is unknown. This study aimed to determine the incidence of adjacent level VCF (adjVCF) following spinal SRS.
Methods: A retrospective review of 239 lesions treated with single-fraction SRS from 2011–2014 was performed. Clinical and pathologic factors were collected including evaluation of VCFs in adjacent levels to SRS site. In patients with adjVCFs, dose-volume histograms for adjacent-level endplates were calculated. Cox regression analysis was performed to determine any association among clinical factors and adjVCF occurrence.
Results: Median follow-up was 14.7 months. Twenty-six adjVCFs occurred (10.8%). Of the adjVCFs, 19 had metastases following SRS, and seven did not (2.9% of total treatments). Median time to fracture post-SRS was 13.5 months. In adjVCFs, median of the mean dose to adjacent level fractured endplate was 23.3 Gy, and median of the mean dose of sixteen non-fractured endplates immediately adjacent to the SRS site was 19.1 Gy. Age, gender, and histology were not associated with adjVCF.
Conclusions: AdjVCF after spinal SRS occurs at a rate of 2.9%, when excluding metastatic sites of disease. Adjacent level endplates should be investigated as an organ at risk during SRS planning.