Postoperative verification of radiosurgical lesions in white matter has been difficult to obtain with CT. With magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, however, lesions could be demonstrated in patients undergoing a psychosurgical procedure, gamma capsulotomy, for anxiety disorder. The appearance and location of the lesions were related to the irradiation dose and to the long-term clinical outcome studied prospectively by two independent evaluators who had not been involved in the selection or the treatment of the patients. Seven consecutive cases were examined. CT was also included for comparison reasons. Lesions were clearly visible with MR in patients who improved after surgery. Conversely, lesions were inadequate in cases who did not benefit. MR proved to be more accurate than CT both in detecting the lesions and in defining their configuration. The observations argue for the use of MR for post-operative verification of radiosurgical lesions. MR may facilitate the determination of a clinically effective radiation threshold estimate for radiosurgical lesions, which should be of value for the planning of studies of this type of limbic system surgery.
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