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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1995 Mar 30;31(5):1113-21.

Chronic neuroendocrinological sequelae of radiation therapy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


A variety of neuroendocrine disturbances are observed following treatment with external radiation therapy when the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) is included in the treatment field. Radiation-induced abnormalities are generally dose dependent and may develop many years after irradiation. Growth hormone deficiency and premature sexual development can occur following doses as low as 18 Gy fractionated radiation and are the most common neuroendocrine problems noted in children. Deficiency of gonadotropins, thyroid stimulating hormone, and adrenocorticotropin are seen primarily in individuals treated with > 40 Gy HPA irradiation. Hyperprolactinemia can be seen following high-dose radiotherapy (> 40 Gy), especially among young women. Most neuroendocrine disturbances that develop as a result of HPA irradiation are treatable; patients at risk require long-term endocrine follow-up.

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