Dry Eye

Ophthalmic evaluation needed after radiotherapy for some cancers

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Several ophthalmic complications can arise after treatment with radiotherapy for head and neck cancers, according to a study. Evaluation of the anterior and posterior segment should be done to assess for damage, even when the radiation dose is below the tolerance limit.

In this prospective, cohort study, 38 eyes of 19 patients with head and neck cancer underwent a complete ophthalmological examination at months 6, 12, 18, 24, and at the last visit.

At the last visit (median 26 months), 42% of patients had a decrease in contrast sensitivity and visual field deterioration. At month 24, prolonged latency was observed in 58% of eyes and decreased amplitude of P100 wave in VEP in 33%.

Despite receiving radiotherapy below tolerance dose levels, 8 patients developed dry eye disease with mild to moderate dry eye findings. Overall, 84.2% (n = 16) of patients developed dry eye disease.  

Akagunduz OO, Yilmaz SG, Tavlayan E, et al. Radiation-induced ocular surface disorders and retinopathy: Ocular structures and Radiation dose-volume effect. Cancer Res Treat. 2021;doi: 10.4143/crt.2021.575. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34176248.

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