Neurographics

Complications of Radiotherapy and Radiosurgery in the Brain and Spine

G. Barisano, S. Bergamaschi, J. Acharya, A. Rajamohan, W. Gibbs, P. Kim, G. Zada, E. Chang, and M. Law

View Article on Neurographics Website

Date of Activity Release: Jun. 1, 2018
Date of Activity Expiration: Jun. 1, 2021

Target Audience:
Intended for neuroradiologists and neuroradiology trainees with varying degrees of experience.

Learning Objective:
To recognize the main complications of radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery in the brain and spine, and to highlight the imaging findings to improve the diagnostic process and treatment planning.

Abstract
Radiation therapy is an integral part of the standard of care for many patients with brain and spine tumors. Stereotactic radiation surgery is increasingly being used as an adjuvant therapy as well as a sole treatment. However, despite newer and more focused techniques, radiation therapy still causes significant neurotoxicity. In this article, we reviewed the scientific literature, presented cases of patients who had developed different complications related to conventional radiation therapy or radiosurgery (gamma knife), demonstrated the imaging findings, and discussed the relevant clinical information for the correct diagnoses. Radiation therapy can cause injury in different ways: directly damaging the structures included in the radiation portal, indirectly affecting the blood vessels, and increasing the chance of tumor development. We also divided radiation complications according to the time of occurrence: acute (0 to 4 weeks), early delayed (4 weeks to months), and late delayed (months to years). With the increasing application of radiation therapy for the treatment of CNS tumors, it is important for the neuroradiologist to recognize the many possible complications of radiation therapy. Although this may cause significant diagnostic challenges, understanding the pathophysiology, time course of onset, and imaging features may help institute early therapy and prevent possible deleterious outcomes.

Commercial Support
No commercial support was received for this activity.

Credit Designation Statement

The American Society of Neuroradiology is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Society of Neuroradiology designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Method of Physician Participation:
Each participant will review the corresponding Neurographics article located at www.neurographics.org. Upon completion, each physician will complete and pass a post-test with a score of at least 80% to receive a CME certificate.

Disclosures:
All individuals in control of content have disclosed the following relevant financial relationships. All of these relationships were treated as a conflict of interest, and have been resolved (C7 SCS 6.1-6.2, 6.5)

Authors:
Authors have no relevant financial relationships.

Planners:

Name

Role

Relationship/Interest

Barton Branstetter 

Editor in Chief

None, N/A

Adam Flanders

Deputy Editor

Royalties, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Robert Quencer 

Consulting Editor

None, N/A

Mark Mullins

Associate Editor

Non-remunerative position, AUR6

Meng Law

Associate Editor

Stockholder, Clinical Imaging

Edward Escott

Associate Editor

Grant, Atherysys, Inc.; Royalties, Thieme Medical Publishers

Scott Faro

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Tina Young Poussaint

Associate Editor

None, N/A

Dheeraj Ghandi

Associate Editor

Grant, Arstasis, Axera Inc.; Consultant, Covidien, EV3

Contact Information:
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