Side effects of oncologic therapies in the pediatric central nervous system: update on neuroimaging findings

Radiographics. 2011 Jul-Aug;31(4):1123-39. doi: 10.1148/rg.314105180.


The need for early, accurate diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) complications occurring during and after pediatric cancer treatment is growing because of the improvement in overall survival rates related to innovative and aggressive oncologic therapies. An elevated degree of suspicion is needed to recognize the radiologic features of these CNS complications. Radiologists need familiarity with the early and late side effects of cancer therapy in the pediatric CNS (eg, toxic effects, infection, endocrine or sensory dysfunction, neuropsychologic impairment, second malignancies), in order to accelerate the imaging diagnosis and minimize as much as possible the associated morbidity. Acquisition of knowledge about these complications will enable the development of more appropriate therapeutic trials and more effective patient surveillance and will lead to an improved quality of life by decreasing the long-term sequelae in survivors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / diagnosis
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / etiology*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnosis
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents