Radiation-induced cranial nerve palsy: hypoglossal nerve and vocal cord palsies

J Laryngol Otol. 1991 Jan;105(1):44-5. doi: 10.1017/s0022215100114793.


Cranial nerve palsies are an unexpected complication of radiotherapy for head and neck tumours. We present a case of this radiation-induced cranial palsy. An 18-year-old female with nasopharyngeal carcinoma developed a right hypoglossal nerve palsy 42 months after cancericidal doses of radiotherapy. In addition, she developed a bilateral vocal cord palsy 62 months after therapy. Follow-up over four years has demonstrated no evidence of tumour recurrence and no sign of neurological improvement.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglossal Nerve / radiation effects*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / etiology*