Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 153–156

Somnolence syndrome after focal radiation therapy to the pineal region: case report and review of the literature

Clinical--patient studies

DOI: 10.1007/s11060-005-9073-1

Cite this article as:
Kelsey, C.R. & Marks, L.B. J Neurooncol (2006) 78: 153. doi:10.1007/s11060-005-9073-1


Somnolence syndrome classically occurs in children after cranial irradiation for acute lymphocytic leukemia. Symptoms include somnolence, fever, nausea and vomiting, and headache. The authors report a 29 year-old female who developed symptoms compatible with the somnolence syndrome after completing radiation therapy for a benign meningioma near the pineal region. Five weeks after completing conformal radiation therapy (54 Gy), she developed profound fatigue, headaches, and 102° fevers. Physical examination and routine laboratory work were unrevealing. Imaging was not performed. Prednisone was prescribed and within 1 week her symptoms had largely resolved. This is the first report of the somnolence syndrome after focal radiation therapy. The possible etiology of the somnolence syndrome is discussed.


early delayedencephalopathypineal regionradiation therapyradiation-induced brain injurysomnolence syndrome



acute lymphocytic leukemia


radiation therapy


dose-volume histogram


reticular activating system

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA