Scientific article
Open access

Natural history and treatment options of radiation-induced brain cavernomas: a systematic review

Publication date2021

Radiation-induced cavernous malformations (RICMs) are delayed complications of brain irradiation during childhood. Its natural history is largely unknown and its incidence may be underestimated as RCIMS tend to develop several years following radiation. No clear consensus exists regarding the long-term follow-up or treatment. A systematic review of Embase, Cochrane Library, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, was performed. Based on our inclusion/exclusion criteria, 12 articles were included, totaling 113 children with RICMs, 86 were treated conservatively, and 27 with microsurgery. We were unable to precisely define the incidence and natural history from this data. The mean age at radiation treatment was 7.3 years, with a slight male predominance (54%) and an average dose of 50.0 Gy. The mean time to detection of RICM was 9.2 years after radiation. RICM often developed at distance from the primary lesion, more specifically frontal (35%) and temporal lobe (34%). On average, 2.6 RICMs were discovered per child. Sixty-seven percent were asymptomatic. Twenty-one percent presented signs of hemorrhage. Clinical outcome was favorable in all children except in 2. Follow-up data were lacking in most of the studies. RICM is most often asymptomatic but probably an underestimated complication of cerebral irradiation in the pediatric population. Based on the radiological development of RICMs, many authors suggest a follow-up of at least 15 years. Studies suggest observation for asymptomatic lesions, while surgery is reserved for symptomatic growth, hemorrhage, or focal neurological deficits.

  • Cavernoma
  • Cavernous malformation
  • Gamma-knife radiation surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Pediatric
  • Proton beam therapy
  • Surgery
  • Systematic review
Citation (ISO format)
PATET, Gildas, BARTOLI, Andréa, MELING, Torstein. Natural history and treatment options of radiation-induced brain cavernomas: a systematic review. In: Neurosurgical Review, 2021. doi: 10.1007/s10143-021-01598-y
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0344-5607

Technical informations

Creation10/17/2021 6:34:00 PM
First validation10/17/2021 6:34:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 1:49:49 AM
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