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March 1968

Effects of Radiation on the Human Heart: An Electron Microscopic Study

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

From the Department of Medicine of the Tulane University School of Medicine and the Charity Hospital of Louisiana, New Orleans.

Arch Intern Med. 1968;121(3):230-234. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.03640030022003

The electron microscopic changes of radiation effects on the human heart have been described for the first time. Disorganization of the nucleus, myofilaments, mitochondria, and sarcolemma was noticed after irradiation. Intracellular edema in the perinuclear region of the myofibers was noted. It has been pointed out that myocardial lesions resulting from irradiation seem to differ significantly from those of ischemia and infarction. Radiotherapy, it seems, should be administered carefully in the paracardiac region to avoid the possible production of a radiocardiomyopathy.

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