PurposeTo assess, in a retrospective cohort study, rates and predictors of first and recurrent stroke in patients treated with cranial irradiation (CRT) and/or cervical irradiation at ≤18 years of age.
Methods and materialsWe performed chart abstraction (n=383) and phone interviews (n=104) to measure first and recurrent stroke in 383 patients who received CRT and/or cervical radiation at a single institution between 1980 and 2009. Stroke was defined as a physician diagnosis and symptoms consistent with stroke. Incidence of first stroke was number of first strokes per person-years of observation after radiation. We used survival analysis techniques to determine cumulative incidence of first and recurrent stroke.
ResultsAmong 325 subjects with sufficient follow-up data, we identified 19 first strokes (13 ischemic, 4 hemorrhagic, 2 unknown subtype) occurring at a median age of 24 years (interquartile range 17-33 years) in patients treated with CRT. Imaging was reviewed when available (n=13), and the stroke was confirmed in 12. Overall rate of first stroke was 625 (95% confidence interval [CI] 378-977) per 100,000 person-years. The cumulative incidence of first stroke was 2% (95% CI 0.01%-5.3%) at 5 years and 4% (95% CI 2.0%-8.4%) at 10 years after irradiation. With each 100-cGy increase in the radiation dose, the stroke hazard increased by 5% (hazard ratio 1.05; 95% CI 1.01-1.09; P=.02). We identified 6 recurrent strokes; 5 had available imaging that confirmed the stroke. Median time to recurrence was 15 months (interquartile range 6 months-3.2 years) after first stroke. The cumulative incidence of recurrent stroke was 38% (95% CI 17%-69%) at 5 years and 59% (95% CI 27%-92%) at 10 years after first stroke.
ConclusionCranial irradiation puts childhood cancer survivors at high risk of both first and recurrent stroke. Stroke prevention strategies for these survivors are needed.