Purpose: To investigate prospectively the prognostic value of the time of developing motor deficits before radiation therapy (RT) for post-treatment functional outcome in metastatic spinal cord compression.Methods and Materials: From November 1998 until October 1999, 57 patients were included. Two subgroups were formed according to the time of developing motor deficits before RT: 1-14 days (n = 29) and > 14 days (n = 28). Therapeutic effect on motor function was evaluated by an 8-point scale directly, 6, 12, and 24 weeks after RT. Patients with rapid deterioration of motor function within 48 h before RT (n = 14) were evaluated separately.Results: Directly after RT, 26/28 patients (93%) of the group developing motor deficits > 14 days showed improvement of motor function, in comparison to 3/29 patients (10%) of the group 1-14 days (p < 0.001). Deterioration rates were 0% (> 14 days) and 45% (1-14 days). In patients with rapid deterioration of motor function within 48 h before RT, prognosis was poor (improvement 0%, no change 43%, deterioration 57%). Results were comparable 6, 12, and 24 weeks after RT.Conclusion: A slower development of motor deficits before RT predicts a better post-treatment functional outcome. In patients with rapid deterioration of motor function within 48 h before RT, prognosis was extraordinarily poor. These results support the findings of our preceding retrospective analysis. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
|Journal||International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 01.12.2000|