Study of the various cutaneous adverse reactions to radiotherapy

Priyatharshini Venkatakrishnan, Govardhan Jagadeesh Kumar, Bhavana Sampadarao


Background: Radiation-induced skin toxicity is a widely recorded toxicity of definitive radiation therapy with about half of patients experiencing grade 2 or higher skin reactions. Radiation-specific characteristics include total exposure, fractional dose, beam energy, field size, anatomic of radiation, and subsequent systemic therapy. Aim of the study was to identify and grade the various cutaneous adverse reactions to radiotherapy.

Methods: 25 patients underwent radiation therapy for any type malignancies were included in the study. Skin manifestations due to other systemic/ cutaneous diseases prior to radiotherapy. Detailed history was taken about disease course, cutaneous manifestations with emphasis on treatment (type of radiation, dosage and duration). General physical examination and dermatological examination were done.

Results: In this study 60% of patients were male, the minimum dose of radiation was 30Gy in 13% patients, maximum dose of radiation was 70Gy in 33% patients, 88% of patients were in RTOG grade 2. Hyperpigmentation was the commonest findings 23 (92%), followed by dry desquamation 11 (44%), the next common was epilation 10 (40%).

Conclusions: Radiation toxicity, generally occurring during or shortly after treatment can range from mild (hyperpigmentation, erythema) to severe (moist desquamation).



Radiotherapy, Cutaneous reaction, Radiation dermatitis, Adverse reaction

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