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May 1966

Carotid Artery Rupture After Irradiation of Larynx

Author Affiliations

From St. Joseph Hospital, Burbank, Calif, and University of California, California College of Medicine, Los Angeles (Dr. Roscher); St. Joseph Hospital and Loma Linda University, Los Angeles (Dr. Steele); and University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles (Dr. Woodard).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;83(5):472-476. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760020474013

THE DISCOVERY of x-ray more than 60 years ago, and the development of nuclear energy over the past two decades, has brought medicine powerful tools for diagnosis and therapy. It soon became apparent, however, that severe tissue damage or even death could result from x-ray exposure (Tylor1). Ionizing irradiation, whether it be α-, β-, or γ-rays, has the potential of producing harmful biological effects, the tissue damage being related to dose and character of the irradiation. In the early days of x-ray application, somatic effects of radiation damage were found in vascular channels of the skin following treatment for skin carcinoma. Such changes were observed as early as 1889 by Gassmann2 who considered endothelial swelling a feature of radiation damage. Somewhat later, capillary endothelial cell swelling was discovered by Wohlbach3 as the source of the radiation ulcer. Similar changes affecting the capillary endothelium were reported also