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Spectrophotometer and ultrasound evaluation of late toxicity following breast-cancer radiotherapy.


ABSTRACT: Radiation-induced normal-tissue toxicities are common, complex, and distressing side effects that affect 90% of patients receiving breast-cancer radiotherapy and 40% of patients post radiotherapy. In this study, the authors investigated the use of spectrophotometry and ultrasound to quantitatively measure radiation-induced skin discoloration and subcutaneous-tissue fibrosis. The study's purpose is to determine whether skin discoloration correlates with the development of fibrosis in breast-cancer radiotherapy.Eighteen breast-cancer patients were enrolled in our initial study. All patients were previously treated with a standard course of radiation, and the median follow-up time was 22 months. The treated and untreated breasts were scanned with a spectrophotometer and an ultrasound. Two spectrophotometer parameters-melanin and erythema indices-were used to quantitatively assess skin discoloration. Two ultrasound parameters-skin thickness and Pearson coefficient of the hypodermis-were used to quantitatively assess severity of fibrosis. These measurements were correlated with clinical assessments (RTOG late morbidity scores).Significant measurement differences between the treated and contralateral breasts were observed among all patients: 27.3% mean increase in skin thickness (p < 0.001), 34.1% mean decrease in Pearson coefficient (p < 0.001), 27.3% mean increase in melanin (p < 0.001), and 22.6% mean increase in erythema (p < 0.001). All parameters except skin thickness correlated with RTOG scores. A moderate correlation exists between melanin and erythema; however, spectrophotometer parameters do not correlate with ultrasound parameters.Spectrophotometry and quantitative ultrasound are objective tools that assess radiation-induced tissue injury. Spectrophotometer parameters did not correlate with those of quantitative ultrasound suggesting that skin discoloration cannot be used as a marker for subcutaneous fibrosis. These tools may prove useful for the reduction of radiation morbidities and improvement of patient quality of life.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3203129 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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