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Radiation-induced Cataracts in Children With Brain Tumors Receiving Craniospinal Irradiation

Whelan, Ros, J., MB, BCh, BAO*; Saccomano, Benjamin, BA; King, Robert, MD; Dorris, Kathleen, MD§; Hemenway, Molly, PNP§; Hankinson, Todd, C., MD; Liu, Arthur, K., MD, PhD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: May 2018 - Volume 40 - Issue 4 - p 304–305
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001142
Original Articles

Radiation is a well-known cause of the development of cataracts. For children with brain tumors, craniospinal irradiation (CSI) would be expected to result in a significant risk of cataract development. We reviewed the incidence of cataracts in children with brain tumors who received CSI at our institution. Of 45 children who received CSI and had ophthalmologic examinations, 13 developed cataracts. The median time to develop cataracts was 27.6 months. Seven children underwent surgery for cataract. Given this high incidence of cataracts, we suggest routine eye examinations for all children receiving CSI.

Departments of *Neurosurgery

Radiation Oncology, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Departments of Neurosurgery


§Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplantation, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Ros J. Whelan, MB, BCh, BAO, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045 (e-mail:

Received May 14, 2017

Accepted January 2, 2018

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