The objective of this study was to characterize pRIA in patients with primary central nervous system (CNS)tumors or head and neck sarcoma.DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS. A retrospective cohort study of patients from January 1,2011, to January 30, 2019, was conducted at 2 large tertiary care hospitals and comprehensive cancer centers. Seventy-one children and adults diagnosed with primary CNS tumors or head and neck sarcomas were evaluated for pRIA.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
The clinical and trichoscopic features, scalp radiation dose-response relationship, and response to topical minoxidil were assessed using standardized clinical photographs of the scalp, trichoscopic images, and radiotherapy treatment plans.
Of the 71 patients included (median [range] age, 27 [4-75] years; 51 female [72%]),64 (90%) had a CNS tumor and 7 (10%) had head and neck sarcoma. Alopecia severity was grade 1 in 40 of 70 patients (56%), with localized (29 of 54 [54%]), diffuse (13 of 54 [24%]),or mixed (12 of 54 [22%]) patterns. The median (range) estimated scalp radiation dose was 39.6 (15.1-50.0) Gy; higher dose (odds ratio [OR], 1.15; 95% CI, 1.04-1.28) and protonirradiation (OR, 5.7; 95% CI, 1.05-30.8) were associated with greater alopecia severity (P< .001), and the dose at which 50% of patients were estimated to have severe (grade 2) alopecia was 36.1 Gy (95% CI, 33.7-39.6 Gy). Predominant trichoscopic features included white patches (16 of 28 [57%]); in 15 patients, hair-shaft caliber negatively correlated with scalp dose (correlation coefficient, −0.624;P= .01). The association between hair density and scalp radiation dose was not statistically significant (−0.381;P= .16). Twenty-eight of 34 patients (82%) responded to topical minoxidil, 5% (median follow-up, 61 [interquartile range,21-105] weeks); 4 of 25 (16%) topical minoxidil recipients with clinical images improved in severity grade. Two patients responded to hair transplantation and 1 patient responded to plastic surgical reconstruction.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Persistent radiation-induced alopecia among patients with primary CNS tumors or head and neck sarcomas represents a dose-dependent phenomenon that has distinctive clinical and trichoscopic features. The findings of this study suggest that topical minoxidil and procedural interventions may have benefit in the treatment of pRIA
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