Format of Original
International Journal of Radiation Oncology-Biology-Physics
Original Item ID
To study vascular injury after whole thoracic irradiation with single sublethal doses of X-rays in the rat and to develop markers that might predict the severity of injury.
Methods and Materials
Rats that received 5- or 10-Gy thorax-only irradiation and age-matched controls were studied at 3 days, 2 weeks, and 1, 2, 5, and 12 months. Several pulmonary vascular parameters were evaluated, including hemodynamics, vessel density, total lung angiotensin-converting enzyme activity, and right ventricular hypertrophy.
By 1 month, the rats in the 10-Gy group had pulmonary vascular dropout, right ventricular hypertrophy, increased pulmonary vascular resistance, increased dry lung weights, and decreases in total lung angiotensin-converting enzyme activity, as well as pulmonary artery distensibility. In contrast, irradiation with 5 Gy resulted in only a modest increase in right ventricular weight and a reduction in lung angiotensin-converting enzyme activity.
In a previous investigation using the same model, we observed that recovery from radiation-induced attenuation of pulmonary vascular reactivity occurred. In the present study, we report that deterioration results in several vascular parameters for ≤1 year after 10 Gy, suggesting sustained remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature. Our data support clinically relevant injuries that appear in a time- and dose-related manner after exposure to relatively low radiation doses.