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Corticosteroid toxicity in neuro-oncology patients


Hospital charts from 59 patients with intracranial malignancy or epidural spinal cord compression were reviewed to establish the frequency of clinically important corticosteroid toxicities and to determine treatment or patient characteristics which were predictive for toxicity. Thirty patients (51%) developed at least one steroid toxicity and eleven (19%) required hospital admission for diagnosis and/or management of steroid-related complications. In this retrospective analysis the duration of steroid therapy and the total administered dose predicted for toxicity. Patients with toxicity also had a significant fall in the serum albumin level. Important corticosteroid toxicity occurs frequently in neuro-oncology patients. Further research should be directed at developing non-toxic alternatives to corticosteroids.

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Correspondence to David E. Weissman.

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Weissman, D.E., Dufer, D., Vogel, V. et al. Corticosteroid toxicity in neuro-oncology patients. J Neuro-Oncol 5, 125–128 (1987).

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Key words

  • corticosteroid
  • brain metastases
  • spinal metastases