As the colon has frequently been studied with the intention of finding the cause of the diarrhea seen in radiation sickness and the findings have been inconclusive, and as diarrhea has been shown to be frequently due to disease of the small intestine,1 I decided to investigate grossly the small intestine of a series of patients receiving heavy, long-protracted doses of high voltage roentgen therapy over the pelvis, using portals large enough so that there is direct irradiation of a portion of the small intestine.
Several workers, notably Warren and Whipple2 and Martin and Rogers,3 have overradiated the abdomen in experimental animals and studied the pathologic change produced in the bowel. This work has given physicians a background of knowledge of the nature of the radiation injury, but unfortunately integration between it and the effects of therapeutic doses in man is practically impossible because of variations
WALLACE WS. THE INTESTINE IN RADIATION SICKNESS: THE GROSS EFFECT ON THE SMALL INTESTINE OF PROTRACTED DEEP PELVIC IRRADIATION. JAMA. 1941;116(7):583–586. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820070033007
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