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J Neurosurg. 1990 Oct;73(4):502-12.

The long-term side effects of radiation therapy for benign brain tumors in adults.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson.

Abstract

Radiation therapy plays an integral part in managing intracranial tumors. While the risk:benefit ratio is considered acceptable for treating malignant tumors, risks of long-term complications of radiotherapy need thorough assessment in adults treated for benign tumors. Many previously reported delayed complications of radiotherapy can be attributed to inappropriate treatment or to the sensitivity of a developing child's brain to radiation. Medical records, radiological studies, autopsy findings, and follow-up information were reviewed for 58 adult patients (31 men and 27 women) treated between 1958 and 1987 with radiotherapy for benign intracranial tumors. Patient ages at the time of irradiation ranged from 21 to 87 years (mean 47.7 years). The pathology included 46 pituitary adenomas, five meningiomas, four glomus jugulare tumors, two pineal area tumors, and one craniopharyngioma. Average radiation dosage was 4984 cGy (range 3100 to 7012 cGy), given in an average of 27.2 fractions (range 15 to 45 fractions), over a period averaging 46.6 days. The follow-up period ranged from 3 to 31 years (mean 8.1 years). Findings related to tumor recurrence or surgery were excluded. Twenty-two patients had complications considered to be delayed side effects of radiotherapy. Two patients had visual deterioration developing 3 and 6 years after treatment; six had pituitary dysfunction; and 17 had varying degrees of parenchymal changes of the brain, occurring mostly in the temporal lobes and relating to the frequent presentation of pituitary tumors (two of these also had pituitary dysfunction). One clival tumor with the radiographic appearance of a meningioma, developed 30 years post-irradiation for acromegaly. This study unveils considerable delayed sequelae of radiotherapy in a series of adult patients receiving what is considered "safe" treatment for benign brain tumors.

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PMID:
2204689
DOI:
10.3171/jns.1990.73.4.0502
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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