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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this report is to review the complications related to different methods of anesthesia for high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy for cervical carcinoma. All patients diagnosed with cervical cancer between 1999 and 2002 treated with 3-channel HDR brachytherapy were entered. Complications due to anesthesia for each fraction of brachytherapy were graded using the Common Toxicity Criteria. Eighty-four fractions of brachytherapy were delivered to 18 patients: 19 fractions with patients under general anesthesia (GA), 41 with patients under topical anesthesia and sedation, 5 with patients under paracervical nerve block, and 19 with patients under conscious sedation. Thirteen complications were reported: 12 related to GA and 1 due to paracervical nerve block. Of complications due to GA, 7 were grade 1 and 5 were grade 2. The complication due to paracervical nerve block (seizure) was grade 3. GA had significantly more complications than topical anesthesia or conscious sedation (both P < 0.001). HDR brachytherapy for cervical cancer under GA has significantly more complications than other methods. Given the increasing use of fractionated 3-channel brachytherapy, further investigation of risks and benefits of anesthetic techniques is required.
American journal of clinical oncology 10/2004; 27(5):449-51. · 2.21 Impact Factor