Radiation leukoencephalopathy associated with moderate hydrocephalus: intracranial pressure monitoring and results of ventriculoperitoneal shunting

Neurol Sci. 2002 Dec;23(5):237-41. doi: 10.1007/s100720200048.


Delayed neurological sequelae of radiotherapy have several manifestations; leukoencephalopathy is one of the most common. Pathogenetic relationships between radiation leukoencephalopathy and other findings of diffuse radiation injury (brain atrophy and progressive ventriculomegaly) are not well defined. Moreover, no guidelines have been established for the treatment of hydrocephalus when associated with radiation leukoencephalopathy. Our study reports intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring in two patients with radiation leukoencephalopathy with moderate hydrocephalus. High intraventricular mean pressure and high peaks were found, and marked improvement of clinical status after shunting was achieved. This study, although restricted to only two patients, shows that ventriculoperitoneal shunting insertion is useful in radiation-induced hydrocephalus, when ICP monitoring detects high mean pressure. A hypothesis is advanced concerning radiation-induced hydrocephalus with high ICP, emphasizing periventricular astrocytosis and its connections with cerebral compliance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Dementia, Vascular / complications*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glioblastoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / complications*
  • Hydrocephalus / therapy
  • Intracranial Pressure / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt* / methods