Changes in MR signal intensity and contrast enhancement of therapeutically irradiated soft tissue

Barry D. Fletcher, Soheil L. Hanna, Larry E. Kun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Increased MR signal intensity was observed on T2-weighted, STIR, and Gadolinium-DTPA-enhanced T1-weighted images of subcutaneous and muscular soft tissue in 9 of 10 children treated with combination chemotheraphy and radiation therapy (RT) for malignancy in the pelvis or an extremity. Total radiation doses ranged from 59.5 to 65 Gy. Eight of the patients with these changes received hyperfractionated RT (seven for Ewing sarcoma and one for perineal rhabdomyosarcoma); one was treated for pelvic hemangiopericytoma with once-daily fractions. Evidence of soft tissue damage became apparent as early as the sixth week of RT and was seen for up to 69 wk post-RT. There was no clear MR evidence of RT-induced soft tissue damage in one patient, who underwent hyperfractionated RT for pelvic rhabdomyosarcoma. Other MR findings in this group included evidence of bladder wall thickening in three of the seven patients given pelvic RT and increased T1-weighted signal of irradiated marrow in nine patients. All patients had clinical evidence of skin, soft tissue, or epithelial radiation effects. Increased MR signal intensity secondary to RT-induced damage can be differentiated from widespread tumor by geometric borders that conform to the margins of the radiation field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-777
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990


  • Magnetic resonance, contrast enhancement
  • Magnetic resonance, tissue characterization
  • Radiation injury/effects
  • Therapeutic radiology, in infants and children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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