Intraoperative radiation (IORT) injury to sciatic nerve in a large animal model.


Journal Article

Peripheral nerve appears to be a dose-limiting normal tissue in the clinical application of intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). To assess IORT injury to peripheral nerve, three groups of five beagle dogs received doses of 12, 20 or 28 Gy to the surgically exposed and isolated right sciatic nerve in the mid-femoral region using 6 MeV electrons. The left sciatic nerve of each dog served as its own control. As a surgical control five dogs received surgical exposure of the nerve only. Monthly neurologic exams, electromyogram and nerve conduction studies were performed following treatment for 12 months. After that dogs were euthanatized and histologic studies of nerves were done to define the degree of axon and myelin loss as well as presence of fibrosis and vascular lesions for different doses of IORT. Results showed that the threshold dose most likely related to expression of severe radiation damage to the nerve in this model is between 20 and 25 Gy. Radiation injury to peripheral nerve appears to be the result of direct radiation effects on Schwann cells and nerve vasculature and secondary effects resulting from damage to regional muscle and vasculature. A theoretical mechanism of radiation injury to peripheral nerve is proposed.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Vujaskovic, Z; Gillette, SM; Powers, BE; LaRue, SM; Gillette, EL; Borak, TB; Scott, RJ; Colacchio, TA

Published Date

  • February 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 133 - 139

PubMed ID

  • 8184110

Pubmed Central ID

  • 8184110

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-8140

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0167-8140(94)90042-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland