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Strahlenther Onkol. 2008 Dec;184(12):647-54. doi: 10.1007/s00066-008-1830-6. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Acute neurocognitive impairment during cranial radiation therapy in patients with intracranial tumors.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University Medical Center Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany. grit.welzel@radonk.ma.uni-heidelberg.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The objective of the current study was to evaluate the acute effects of cranial radiation therapy (CNS-RT) using different radiation doses (0, 1.8, 2, 3, >or=20 Gy) on cognitive function with special emphasis on memory. We assessed patients with and without intracranial tumors to distinguish between direct and indirect radiation effects on brain tissue.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Eighty-two patients were evaluated with neuropsychological testing before and acutely after radiotherapy (RT). Sixty-four patients received RT to the brain (55 with, 9 without intracranial tumor). Eighteen patients treated with RT to the breast served as controls.

RESULTS:

Patients with intracranial tumor demonstrated attention (19-38th percentile) and verbal memory scores (34-46th percentile) below the population average at baseline. The average Verbal Memory score was significantly different between patients with intracranial tumor and controls both at baseline (38th vs. 58th percentile) and after irradiation (27th vs. 52th percentile). Patients with preexisting peritumoral edema performed worse than patients without edema and controls. Radiation dose-related deficits were seen for working memory performance in patients with intracranial tumor.

CONCLUSION:

Our data indicate no measurable impairment of cognitive functioning acutely after prophylactic cranial irradiation. Patients with intracranial tumor show a deterioration of almost all memory functions with a dose-dependent impairment in working memory. Patients with preexisting peritumoral brain edema show the strongest deterioration.

PMID:
19107345
DOI:
10.1007/s00066-008-1830-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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