Acute lower extremity paralysis following radiation therapy for cervical cancer

Nadeem R. Abu-Rustum, Dharma Rajbhandari, Silvio Glusman, L. Stewart Massad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background. Acute lower extremity paralysis secondary to lumbosacral plexopathy is a rare but severe complication that may follow pelvic radiotherapy for cervical cancer. Case. A 49-year-old female with newly diagnosed stage IIIB cervical cancer developed progressive bilateral lower extremity paralysis and pelvic pain only 10 weeks following completion of radiation therapy for cervical cancer with no evidence of metastasis or progression of disease. Her bladder and bowel function were not affected. Following extensive workup, the most likely etiology was presumed radiation- induced lumbosacral plexopathy. Conclusion. Although metastatic carcinoma is more commonly the reason for progressive lower extremity weakness with pelvic pain in women with advanced cervical cancer, radiation-induced lumbosacral plexopathy, a rare but devastating complication, may be the cause. Diagnosis is by exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-154
Number of pages3
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Pelvic pain
  • Radiation plexopathy

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