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Oncology - Otolaryngology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

A Study of Radiation-Induced Cerebral Vascular Injury in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients with Radiation-Induced Temporal Lobe Necrosis
Published: Monday, August 13, 2012
Author: Jianhong Ye et al.

by Jianhong Ye, Xiaoming Rong, Yanqun Xiang, Yigang Xing, Yamei Tang


To investigate radiation-induced carotid and cerebral vascular injury and its relationship with radiation-induced temporal lobe necrosis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients.

Methods and Materials

Fifty eight NPC patients with radiation-induced temporal lobe necrosis (TLN) were recruited in the study. Duplex ultrasonography was used to scan bilateral carotid arterials to evaluate the intima-media thickness (IMT) and occurrence of plaque formation. Flow velocities of bilateral middle cerebral arteries (MCAs), internal carotid arteries (ICAs) and basal artery (BA) were estimated through Transcranial Color Doppler (TCD). The results were compared with data from 33 patients who were free from radiation-induced temporal lobe necrosis after radiotherapy and 29 healthy individuals.


Significant differences in IMT, occurrence of plaques of ICAs and flow velocities of both MCAs and ICAs were found between patients after radiotherapy and healthy individuals (p<0.05). IMT had positive correlation with post radiation interval (p?=?0.049). Compared with results from patients without radiation-induced TLN, the mean IMT was significantly thicker in patients with TLN (p<0.001). Plaques were more common in patients with TLN than patients without TLN (p?=?0.038). In addition, flow velocities of MCAs and ICAs in patients with TLN were much faster (p<0.001, p<0.001). Among patients with unilateral TLN, flow velocity of MCAs was significantly different between ipsilateral and contralateral sides to the lesion (p?=?0.001).


Thickening of IMT, occurrence of plaque formation and hemodynamic abnormality are more common in patients after radiotherapy, especially in those with TLN, compared with healthy individuals.