Fecha de la publicación: 20/04/2018
Autor: Verónica Fernández-Alvarez (1), Fernando López (2, 3, 4), Carlos Suárez (5, 6), Primoz Strojan (7), Avraham Eisbruch (8), Carl E Silver (9), William M Mendenhall (10), Johannes A Langendijk (11), Alessandra Rinaldo (12), Anne W M Lee (13), Jonathan J Beitler (14), Robert Smee (15), Javier Alvarez (1), Alfio Ferlito (16)
1Department of Vascular Surgery, Hospital Universitario de Cabueñes, Gijón, Spain.
2Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.
3Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias and CIBERONC, ISCIII, Oviedo, Spain.
4Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.
5Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias and CIBERONC, ISCIII, Oviedo, Spain. email@example.com.
6Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain. firstname.lastname@example.org.
7Department of Radiation Oncology, Institute of Oncology, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
8Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
9Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
10Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
11Department of Radiation Oncology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
12University of Udine School of Medicine, Udine, Italy.
13Center of Clinical Oncology, University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, China.
14Departments of Radiation Oncology, Otolaryngology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.
15Department of Radiation Oncology, The Prince of Wales Cancer Centre, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
16International Head and Neck Scientific Group, Padua, Italy.
Purpose: To review the current aspects of knowledge related to the risk of cerebrovascular events in patients receiving head and neck radiotherapy.
Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed. Papers meeting selection criteria were reviewed.
Results: We provide an update on the problem by identifying key studies that have contributed to our current understanding of the epidemiology, radiologic features, pathogenesis, and treatment of the disease. The incidence of carotid artery stenosis ranged from 18 to 38% in patients who underwent radiotherapy for head and neck cancer versus from 0 to 9.2% among the nonirradiated patients. Neck irradiation increases the intima-media thickness of the carotid artery wall. These changes are the earliest visible alteration in the carotid wall and are also detected with color Doppler ultrasonography. Endovascular treatment with a carotid angioplasty and stenting is the first-line treatment for most symptomatic patients.
Conclusions: Radiation-induced atherosclerosis is a different and accelerated form of atherosclerosis, which implies a more aggressive disease with a different biologic behavior. The disease is characterized by a high rate of carotid artery stenosis compared to those observed in nonirradiated control group patients. To prevent the risk of stroke, surveillance and imaging with ultrasonography should enable detection of severe stenosis. Endovascular treatment with a carotid angioplasty and stenting has been proposed as an attractive and minimally invasive alternative for some radiation-induced stenoses.