Neurotoxicity of radiation therapy

Neurol Clin. 2010 Feb;28(1):217-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2009.09.008.


Direct or incidental exposure of the nervous system to therapeutic irradiation carries the risk of symptomatic neurologic injury. Central nervous system toxicity from radiation includes focal cerebral necrosis, neurocognitive deficits, and less commonly cerebrovascular disease, myelopathy, or the occurrence of a radiation-induced neoplasm. Brachial or lumbosacral plexopathy are the most common syndromes of radiation toxicity affecting the peripheral nervous system. This article focuses on the clinical features, diagnosis, and management options for patients with radiation neurotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / diagnosis
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / etiology*
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / therapy
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Diseases / etiology*
  • Brain Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Radiation Injuries / complications*
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnosis
  • Radiation Injuries / therapy
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / etiology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / therapy