Radiation Induced Demyelination in Cervical Spinal Cord of the Head and Neck Cancer Patients after Receiving Radiotherapy

H Goyal, N Singh, O P Gurjar, R K Tanwar


Introduction: Cervical spinal cord is important and radiosensitive. It is the most critical organ for the head and neck (H&N) cancer patients during radiotherapy. If dos delivered to the cord is more than tolerance dose, demyelination may occur. Current study aims to analyze the post radiotherapy status of cord in the H&N cancer patients.

Materials and Methods: Sixty patients who received more than 50 Gray (Gy) dose for more than 10 cm length of spinal cord participated in the study. All the patients were clinically examined and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed for patients who had demyelination symptoms. Adequate medical management was provided for all the patients having demyelination.

Results: Out of sixty patients, ten cases were reported with demyelination symptoms, and only six cases gave consent for this study. One patient was found to have irreversible demyelination while five patients have reversible demyelination.

Conclusions: Demyelination may occur if long segment spinal cord receives dose more than tolerance limit. However target dose should not be compromised up to 54 Gy to spinal cord.


Cervical Spinal Cord, Demyelination, Myelin, Radiotherapy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.31661/jbpe.v0i0.1055

eISSN: 2251-7200        JBPE NLM ID: 101589641

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