The incidence of radiation necrosis has increased secondary to combined modality therapy for brain tumors and stereotactic radiosurgery. The pathology of progressive brain radiation necrosis (RN) primarily includes inflammation and angiogenesis in which cytokines, chemokines, and vascular endothelial growth factors are upregulated. Combined multiparametric imaging, including lesional metabolism, spectroscopy, and blood flow, could enhance diagnostic accuracy compared with a single imaging study. Nevertheless, a substantial risk of bias restricts firm conclusions about the best imaging technique for diagnosing brain RN. Bevacizumab shows promising results of improving radiographic edema and post-gadolinium enhancement with associated symptomatic improvement. However, this was based on small double-blinded randomized controlled trials, which introduces a high risk of bias due to the small sample size despite the high-quality trial design. Edaravone combined with corticosteroids also resulted in a more significant reduction in radiographic edema than corticosteroids alone but had no impact on reducing the enhancing lesion. There is a great need for further prospective randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to treat brain RN.
Part of the book: Central Nervous System Tumors