The Radiation damage

Radiation damage

Radiation damage is a change in the tissues and organs of a person caused by ionizing radiation when exposed locally.

When radiation therapy is exposed to radiation, not only affected, but also a certain amount of normal tissues are exposed in which the pathological process develops under the influence of irradiation, the degree and duration of which increases with increasing dose. At the end of irradiation in a dose tolerant for this type of tissue, the developed pathological process regresses independently, leaving indistinctly expressed traces of atrophy and sclerosis. This degree of radiation changes is conditionally called the local reaction to irradiation. When irradiated in doses exceeding the tissue tolerance, radiation damage that is irreversible develops, which are considered as complications of radiation therapy. Radiation damage is caused by sclerosis and obliteration of vessels, degeneration of nerve endings and fibers, death of parenchyma cells, tissue atrophy with replacement of hyalineized connective tissue.

Radiation damage can occur with radiation therapy of malignant tumors and non-tumorous diseases. More often they arise with radiation therapy of malignant tumors, which is explained by the need for high-dose irradiation and a small interval in the radiosensitivity of normal and pathological tissue, sometimes more radiosensitive than normal tumor tissue. An important role in the development of complications is played by improper planning of irradiation conditions, which leads to the formation of uncontrolled zones irradiated in a high dose intolerant for a given tissue.


Development of radiation injuries is facilitated by repeated courses of radiotherapy in combination with a surgical method due to impaired blood flow in the operated tissues, attachment of secondary infection, discharge from the wound , lubrication of the operating field with iodine tincture, etc., the presence of concomitant diseases such as thyrotoxicosis , diabetes, allergies any etiology, chronic inflammatory processes, and in more rare cases, individually increased radiosensitivity of the patient.

Radiation injuries can occur after irradiation, a few weeks after and at a later date, several years or even decades after exposure. The detection time depends on the size and dose rate and the degree of fractionation. Short-term intensive irradiation in a dose exceeding the tolerance of tissues causes radiation damage developing in the coming days, and when fractional irradiation or single irradiation in smaller doses they occur in the long term.

Radiation damage can occur under the influence of ionizing radiation from any source of radiation in a dose exceeding the tolerance of the irradiated normal tissue or organ. The depth of damage depends on the energy of the radiation and its penetrating power. Beta radiation and soft X-rays can cause damage of any severity, but in all cases it will be superficial, capturing the upper layers of the skin or mucous membranes. When exposed to radiation, large penetrating power not only damage the skin and mucous membrane, but also the underlying tissues.

The severity of the lesion increases with increasing dose. At the same dose value, its degree decreases as the dose is fractionated. The age and general condition of the patient have a noticeable effect on the extent of the lesion. Under the same physical conditions of irradiation, the severity of the lesion is greater in children.


At present, radiation damage to all human tissues without exception is known.

Radiation damage (radiation damage) - changes in organs, tissues and body systems as a result of the action of ionizing radiation. They can be observed as a complication in radiation therapy (see), in radiologists and radiologists in the event of violation of safety regulations, in nuclear industry workers as a result of accidents.

Radiation damage can occur at various times after irradiation (see Radiation disease).

The general irradiation of the body is characterized by the development of acute or chronic form of radiation sickness. With local radiation exposures, along with general manifestations of radiation damage, primary radiation injuries of certain organs or systems found to be in the region of greatest irradiation can be observed (see Skin, Bone, Hood, Lung, Bladder, Kidneys, Rectum, Radioepithelium, Testicle, Ovary).