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Open Access Radiation retinopathy in patients treated for sinus and epipharingeal malignancies

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Background. Radiation retinopathy is vasculopathy induced by ionising radiation delivered by either brachytherapy or teletherapy for ocular and nonocular malignancies. The first signs of radiation retinopathy typically occur a few months to a few years after the exposure to ionizing radiation. Case report. In the 3 of our patients, changes like capillary telangiectasia, microaneurysms, intraretinal hemorrhages, hard exudation, and capillary nonperfusion showed a clinical picture of macular edema. Two of the patients were suspected of diabetic retinopathy, and 1 patient had optic neuropathy. In our group of patients a latent period was between 3 and 8 years. The incidence of radiation retinopathy increases significantly with the total doses of radiation above 45 Gy, and, thus, it has not been found in the lower doses. Conclusion. Radiation retinopathy is a diagnostical and therapentical problem. Clinical picture can be identical to that of diabetic retinopathy suggesting a common pathophysiologic mechanism of the damage to capillary endothelial cells, and the importance of clinical examination, anamnesis and fluorescein angiography.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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