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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2010 March;54(1):21-8

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Therapeutic strategy of late cerebral radionecrosis. A retrospective study of 21 cases

Carangelo B., Cerillo A., Mariottini A., Peri G., Rubino G., Mourmouras V., Palma L.

1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; 2 Department of Radiotherapy, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; 3 Department of Human Pathology and Oncology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; 4 Department of Neurosurgery, University Federico II of Naples Naples, Italy


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AIM: Late cerebral radiation necrosis (LCR) is a serious complication of radiation treatment for brain tumors. This study investigates the diagnosis and management of patients with late clinical and neuroradiological cerebral radionecrosis after primary removal of brain neoplasm. The authors discuss the clinical features and long-term outcome of 21 patients with late cerebral radionecrosis and emphasize the importance of surgical and medical therapy.
METHODS: Twenty-one patients with brain tumor treated by surgical resection or brain biopsy alone after radiotherapy during follow-up developed radionecrosis. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), surgical and clinical findings of these patients with radionecrosis are reviewed.
RESULTS: MRI showed radionecrosis in 21 patients, 9 of which had undergone craniotomy for lesion removal.
CONCLUSION: Late radionecrosis is infrequent following radiation therapy and may simulate tumor recurrence on MRI scans. From the authors’ experience it is evident that, once begun, radiation treatment of neoplastic lesions can lead to complications such as late cerebral radionecrosis which often require surgical treatment. As correct diagnosis is necessary for appropriate treatment, a fair balance needs to be struck when considering ionizing radiation, medical therapy, surgery and diagnostic imaging.

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