Abstract Title:

Complications of radiation therapy.

Abstract Source:

Crit Rev Diagn Imaging. 1985;23(3):235-67. PMID: 3891233

Abstract Author(s):

M K Dalinka, V P Mazzeo


The skeletal effects of radiation are dependent upon many variables, but the pathologic features are consistent. Radiation may cause immediate or delayed cell death, cellular injury with recovery, arrest of cellular division, or abnormal repair with neoplasia. Radiation necrosis and radiation-induced neoplasm still occur despite the use of supervoltage therapy. Complications of radiotherapy are well known and have led to more judicious use of this therapeutic modality. With few exceptions, benign bone tumors are no longer treated with irradiation. Radiation necrosis may be difficult to differentiate from sarcoma arising in irradiated bone. They both occur within the field of irradiation. Radiation necrosis often has a long latent period which is, of course, the rule in radiation-induced neoplasia. A soft tissue mass favors the diagnosis of neoplasia, while its absence suggests radiation necrosis. Lack of pain favors necrosis. Calcification may occur in radiation necrosis and does not indicate neoplasia. A lack of progression on serial roentgenograms also favors radiation necrosis.

Study Type : Commentary

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