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Int J Radiat Biol. 2009 Dec;85(12):1089-100. doi: 10.3109/09553000903264473.

10 Gy total body irradiation increases risk of coronary sclerosis, degeneration of heart structure and function in a rat model.

Author information

  • 1Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. jbaker@mcw.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the impact of 10 Gy total body irradiation (TBI) or local thorax irradiation, a dose relevant to a radiological terrorist threat, on lipid and liver profile, coronary microvasculature and ventricular function.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

WAG/RijCmcr rats received 10 Gy TBI followed by bone marrow transplantation, or 10 Gy local thorax irradiation. Age-matched, non-irradiated rats served as controls. The lipid profile and liver enzymes, coronary vessel morphology, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms, protease activated receptor (PAR)-1 expression and fibrinogen levels were compared. Two-dimensional strain echocardiography assessed global radial and circumferential strain on the heart.

RESULTS:

TBI resulted in a sustained increase in total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (190 +/- 8 vs. 58 +/- 6; 82 +/- 8 vs. 13 +/- 3 mg/dl, respectively). The density of small coronary arterioles was decreased by 32%. Histology revealed complete blockage of some vessels while cardiomyocytes remained normal. TBI resulted in cellular peri-arterial fibrosis whereas control hearts had symmetrical penetrating vessels with less collagen and fibroblasts. TBI resulted in a 32 +/- 4% and 28 +/- 3% decrease in endothelial NOS and inducible NOS protein, respectively, and a 21 +/- 4% and 35 +/- 5% increase in fibrinogen and PAR-1 protein respectively, after 120 days. TBI reduced radial strain (19 +/- 8 vs. 46 +/- 7%) and circumferential strain (-8 +/- 3 vs. -15 +/- 3%) compared to controls. Thorax-only irradiation produced no changes over the same time frame.

CONCLUSIONS:

TBI with 10 Gy, a dose relevant to radiological terrorist threats, worsened lipid profile, injured coronary microvasculature, altered endothelial physiology and myocardial mechanics. These changes were not manifest with local thorax irradiation. Non-thoracic circulating factors may be promoting radiation-induced injury to the heart.

PMID:
19995235
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2792125
Free PMC Article

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