Background and Objective: Even though the benefits of radiation therapy are well established,
it is important to recognize the broad spectrum of radiation-induced changes, particularly in the
central nervous system. The possible damage to the brain parenchyma may have clinical consequences
and in particular cognitive impairment might be one of the major complications of radiotherapy. To
date, no studies have investigated the effects of focal radiation therapy on brain structure and function
together with the assessment of their clinical outcomes at a long follow-up.
Methods: In this prospective study, we evaluated in six patients the possible brain late effects after radiation
therapy, using a standardized neuropsychological battery, MRI and 18F-FDG PET using SPM
and semi-quantitative methods, in patients affected by cranial base tumors who underwent gamma knife
Results: Neuropsychological examinations showed no cognitive impairment after the treatment. In all
patients, both MRI assessment and 18F-FDG-PET did not reveal any local or distant anatomical and
metabolic late effects.
Conclusion: The present study support the safety of advanced radiation therapy techniques. 18F-FDGPET,
using SPM and semi-quantitative methods, might be a valuable tool to evaluate the cerebral radiotoxicity
in patients treated for brain neoplasms.