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June 1968

Supralethal Total-Body X-Irradiation: Effects on the Spinal Cord of Parabiont Rats

Author Affiliations

From the Cancer Research Institute, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston.

Arch Neurol. 1968;18(6):703-707. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00470360125013

ONLY a limited amount of data exist on the effect of radiation on neurons. The central nervous system (CNS) is generally fairly resistant to radiation therapy. This is indeed fortunate as a fair number of lesions in man best treated by radiation occur in close proximity to the brain and spinal cord.

Histopathological studies on changes resulting from radiation of the CNS have usually been limited to investigation of effects of localized x-irradiation. Inferior performance in running time was found in Sprague-Dawley rats irradiated with 2,500 rads or 5,000 rads to the forebrain. On histologic examination of the animals, necrotic foci were found in the brain, the neuroglial cells were somewhat hypertrophied, and there was moderate radiation change in blood vessels.1 Vogel2 found minimal damage to neurons in monkeys receiving over 2,500 roentgens (R) with a sharp increase in injury from 5,000 R. The granular cells were