Mark Bernstein, Tom Marotta, Patricia Stewart, Jennifer Glen, Lothar Resch and Mark Henkelman
✓ Changes in normal rat brain were studied acutely, and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months following interstitial brachytherapy with high-activity 125I seeds. An 80-Gy radiation dose was administered to an area with a 5.5-mm radius. Effects were measured with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (with and without gadolinium enhancement), leakage of horseradish peroxidase(HRP), electron microscopy, and light microscopy. Significant histological damage was seen at radiation doses above 295 Gy, and breakdown of the blood-brain barrier was observed only in tissue receiving a dose of 165 Gy or greater. Blood-brain barrier breakdown increased up to the 6-month time point, and thereafter appeared to stabilize or decrease. The area of blood-brain barrier disruption indicated by gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging was greater than that indicated by leakage of HRP.