International Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2019, Vol 29, Num 3 Page(s): 180-185
Pathophysiology and Treatment of Radiation-Induced Brachial Plexopathy

Erkan TOPKAN1, H. Cem ÖNAL1, M. Nur YAVUZ1, A. Aydın YAVUZ1

Baskent University, Medical Faculty, Department of Radiation Oncology, ADANA

Keywords: Brachial plexus, Plexopathy, Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is a well proven effective treatment modality in the management of various cancers. However, radiation therapy has potentially adverse effects on several tissues including central and peripheral nervous systems. Radiation-induced brachial plexopathy is a rare but challenging complication of RT in patients undergoing chest, axillary, and neck irradiation because of myriad of primary or malignant tumors of these region. It is a progressive disease state which may lead to devastating sensorial and motor malfunctions. Currently, there is no generally accepted treatment method, but non-narcotic and narcotics and anesthetic interventions for grade 1 and 2 lesions are suggested. In grade 3 and 4 injuries, surgical interventions to prevent fibrosis of the vascular supply to the nerves and to release nerves from fibrotic constrictions should be considered.