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Rev Med Brux. 1996 Apr;17(2):75-84.

[Exposure to ionizing radiation: radiobiological and pathogenic effects (2)].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Unité de Radiobiologie et de Radioprotection, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Bruxelles.


The present paper describes the radiobiological effects induced by an exposure to ionizing radiation and their pathogenesis. The different skin reactions are described in detail because of their importance and frequency. Thus the acute skin lesions after high doses and the late effects resulting, either from high doses, or from accumulation of chronic irradiation, are studied. The main early syndromes are then characterized: neurological, gastro-intestinal, bone-marrow and prodromic. As far as the complex problem of radiocarcinogenesis is concerned, the main results derived from studies by international organizations such as the ICRP and the UNSCEAR are reported: risk coefficient of 5% per gray, for lethal radioinduced cancer, after total body irradiation, at low dose of low-LET radiation. The effects of irradiation in utero are then considered: risk of malformation after irradiation during the two first months of pregnancy and risk of mental retardation after irradiation during the third and the fourth months. Finally, the genetic risk is presented as being equal to one fourth of the risk of carcinogenesis at low doses. The effects of irradiation on the gonads are also described.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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