Experimental delayed radiation necrosis of the brain. Part I: Effect of early dexamethasone treatment

A. N. Martins, R. E. Severance, J. M. Henry, T. F. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The authors have designed an experiment to detect a hitherto unrecognized interaction between high doses of the glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, and brain irradiation. Eighteen juvenile male rhesus monkeys received 1800 rads to the whole brain in 8.5 minutes. For 1 1/2 days before and 10 1/2 days after the irradiation, nine animals received approximately 2.9 mg/kg/day of dexamethasone intramuscularly in addition to irradiation, while the remaining nine animals served as the control group and received saline. All animals eventually developed a progressive neurological syndrome, and died of delayed radiation necrosis of the brain. The two groups were compared with regard to latency to onset of clinical signs, survival time, and number, distribution, and location of lesions of radionecrosis. Large doses of dexamethasone did not alter the susceptibility of the primate brain to delayed radiation necrosis. Detailed morphological study of the radionecrotic lesions supports the hypothesis that most, if not all, of the lesions develop as the consequence of injury to blood vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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