Expanded neuromuscular morbidity in Hodgkin lymphoma after radiotherapy

Tatsuya Oishi, Cory J. Kogelschatz, Nathan P. Young, Ernest M. Hoffmann, Nathan P. Staff, Sue L. Visscher, Bijan J. Borah, William E. Krauss, Kogulavadanan Arumaithurai, Shahar Shelly, Stephen M. Ansell, Christopher J. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our study aims to quantitate neuromuscular morbidity from radiotherapy in Hodgkin lymphoma including: (i) frequency and (ii) time of onsets for neurological localizations; (iii) degree of disabilities and (iv) number of clinical visits compared to cardiopulmonary Hodgkin lymphoma-radiation complications. Medical records from Mayo Health systems were retrieved; identifying neuromuscular radiation treated Hodgkin lymphoma-complications from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2016. Of an estimated 4100 post-radiotherapy Hodgkin lymphoma patients, 4.6% (189) were identified with complications. Mean latency to physician visit for symptoms was 23.7 years (range: 1-50). Most commonly identified complications included: head drop 10% (19) with or without myopathy, myopathy 39% (73), plexopathy 29% (54), myelopathy 27% (51) and polyradiculopathy 13% (24). Other findings included benign and malignant nerve sheath tumours 5% (9), phrenic and long thoracic mononeuropathies 7% (14) and compressive spinal meningioma 2% (4). Patients frequently had multiple coexisting complications (single = 76% [144], double = 17% [33], triple = 4% [8], quadruple = 2% [4]). Cardiac 28% (53) and pulmonary 15% (29) complications were also seen in these patients. History of Hodgkin lymphoma was initially overlooked by neurologists (14.3%, 48/336 clinical notes). Hospital and outpatient visits for complications were frequent: neuromuscular 19% (77/411) versus cardiopulmonary 30% (125/411). Testing was largely exclusionary, except when imaging identified secondary malignancy. Modified Rankin score at diagnosis varied: 0-1 (55.8%), 2-3 (5.8%) and 4-5 (38.3%). Neuromuscular complications among post-radiation Hodgkin lymphoma are diverse, occurring in ∼1 of 20 having markedly delayed onsets often eluding diagnosis. Frequent care visits and major morbidity are common. Survivorship recommendations should recognize the diverse neurological complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfcaa050
JournalBrain Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • neuromuscular
  • radiation complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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