[Head and neck intensity-modulated radiation therapy: Normal tissues dose constraints. Pharyngeal constrictor muscles and larynx]

Cancer Radiother. 2016 Oct;20(6-7):452-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2016.06.004. Epub 2016 Sep 3.
[Article in French]


Radio-induced pharyngolaryngeal chronic disorders may challenge the quality of life of head and neck cancer long survivors. Many anatomic structures have been identified as potentially impaired by irradiation and responsible for laryngeal edema, dysphonia and dysphagia. Some dose constraints might be plausible such as keeping the mean dose to the pharyngeal constrictor muscles under 50 to 55Gy, the mean dose to the supra-glottic larynx under 40 to 45Gy and, if feasible, the mean dose to the glottic larynx under 20Gy. A reduction of the dose delivered to the muscles of the floor of the mouth and the cervical esophagus would be beneficial as well. Nevertheless, the publications available do not provide an extensive enough level of proof. One should consider limiting as low as possible the dose delivered to these structures without compromising the quality of irradiation of the target tumor volumes.

Keywords: Dose; Dysphagia; Dysphagie; Dysphonia; Dysphonie; Laryngeal edema; Larynx; Pharynx; Radio-induced toxicity; Radiotherapy; Radiothérapie; Tolerance; Tolérance; Toxicité radio-induite; Œdème laryngé.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Dysphonia / etiology
  • Dysphonia / prevention & control
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Edema / etiology
  • Laryngeal Edema / prevention & control
  • Larynx / radiation effects
  • Organs at Risk*
  • Pharyngeal Muscles / radiation effects
  • Radiotherapy Dosage*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated*