Post radiation polyneuropathy (PRPN) is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system, which is responsible for sending signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. PRPN is caused by radiation therapy for cancer, and can occur anytime from weeks to years after the treatment. It is most common in people who have received radiation to the head, neck, or chest.
Diagnosis of PRPN is based on a physical examination and a review of the patient’s radiation therapy history. A doctor may order blood tests, nerve conduction studies, or imaging tests to help rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.
Differential diagnosis of PRPN includes conditions such as diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency, Guillain-Barré syndrome, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, and other causes of peripheral neuropathy.
Treatment for PRPN typically involves medications to reduce the pain and improve the nerve function. In some cases, physical therapy and occupational therapy can also be beneficial.
The prognosis for PRPN is variable and depends on the severity of the condition and the individual patient. In some cases, symptoms may improve over time, while in others they may remain the same or worsen.