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Cancer Radiother. 1997;1(6):801-9.

[Late effects of radiations on mature and growing bone].

[Article in French]

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Département de radiothérapie-oncologie, EA 643, centre hospitalier Lyon-Sud, Pierre-Bénite, France.


The physiopathology of radiation-induced bone damage is no completely elucidated. Ionizing radiation may induce an inhibition or an impairment of growing bone. This fact is of particular importance in children, and represents one of the most important dose-limiting factors in the radiotherapeutic management of children with malignant diseases. Scoliosis, epiphyseal slippage, avascular necrosis, abnormalities of craniofacial growth may be observed after radiation. Child's age at the time of treatment, location of irradiated bone and irradiation characteristics may influence the radiation-related observed effects. In adults, pathological analysis of mature bone after ionizing radiation exposure are rare, suggesting that it is difficult to draw a clear feature of the action of radiation on the bone. Osteoporosis, medullary fibrosis and cytotoxicity on bone cells lead to fracture or necrosis. Various factors can influence bone tolerance to radiation such as bone involvement by tumor cells or infection, which is frequent is mandibulary osteoradionecrosis. Technical improvements in radiation techniques have also decreased radio-induced bone complications: the volume, fractionation and total dose are essential to consider. The absence of a consistent radiation-induced late effects evaluation scale has hampered efforts to analyze the influence of various therapeutic maneuvers and the comparison of results from different reported series. The currently proposed evaluation scale may help harmonizing the classification of radiation-induced bone late effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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