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Volume 16, Number 4, 2011

Radiobiology of the acute radiation syndrome

Miquel Macià i Garau, Anna Lucas Calduch, Enric Casanovas López


Acute radiation syndrome or acute radiation sickness is classically subdivided into three subsyndromes: the hematopoietic, gastrointestinal and neurovascular syndrome but many other tissues can be damaged. The time course and severity of clinical signs and symptoms are a function of the overall body volume irradiated, the inhomogeneity of dose exposure, the particle type, the absorbed dose and the dose rate. Classical pathophysiology explain the failure of each of these organs and the timing of appearance of their signs and symptoms due to radiation-induced cytocidal effects of a great number of parenchymal cells of hierarchically organized tissues. Contemporaneously, many other radiation-induced effects has been described and all of them may lead to tissue injury with their corresponding signs and symptoms that can be expressed after short or long period of time. Radiation-induced multi-organ involvement is thought to be due to radiation-induced systemic inflammatory response mediated by released pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2011; 16(4) : 123-130

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