AffiliationDepartment of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, England.
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AbstractIn 134 children who had been treated for a brain tumor not involving the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, thyroid function was assessed up to 24 years after treatment with cranial or craniospinal irradiation. In addition, 78 children received up to 2 years of cytotoxic chemotherapy. Of 85 children who received craniospinal irradiation, 30 (35%) had abnormalities of thyroid function, and 10 (20%) of 49 who received cranial irradiation had such abnormalities. Frank hypothyroidism developed in three children and thyrotoxicosis in one. Thirty-six children had an elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone level in the presence of a normal thyroxine level; in 16 of them the thyroid-stimulating hormone level subsequently returned to normal. Twenty-eight children who were treated between 1960 and 1970 were excluded from the analysis. Of 34 children who received cranial irradiation, five had thyroid dysfunction and 24 of 72 who received craniospinal irradiation had such dysfunction (p = 0.013). Thyroid dysfunction was present in 4 of 35 children who received no chemotherapy and in 25 of 71 who received chemotherapy (p = 0.014). Direct irradiation plus chemotherapy was more damaging than irradiation alone. These data confirm the high incidence of thyroid dysfunction when the thyroid gland is included in the radiation field. However, in a high proportion, the thyroid abnormalities are minor and revert to normal with time; life-long replacement therapy with thyroxine may be unnecessary.
CitationThyroid function after treatment of brain tumors in children. 1991, 119 (5):733-7 J. Pediatr.
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics