The incidence of radiation necrosis has increased secondary to greater use of combined modality therapy for brain tumors and stereotactic radiosurgery. Given that its characteristics on standard imaging are no different that tumor recurrence, it is difficult to diagnose without use of more sophisticated imaging and nuclear medicine scans, although the accuracy of such scans is controversial. Historically, treatment had been limited to steroids, hyperbaric oxygen, anticoagulants, and surgical resection. A recent prospective randomized study has confirmed the efficacy of bevacizumab in treating radiation necrosis. Novel therapies include using focused interstitial laser thermal therapy. This article will review the diagnosis and treatment of radiation necrosis.
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