Morphological aspects of ionizing radiation response of small intestine

Z. Somosy, G. Horváth, Telbisz, G. Réz, Z. Pálfia

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

76 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge of the acute and late ionizing radiation exposure damage to the gastrointestinal tract, particularly injury of the small intestine, is of great significance in radiotherapy, as is management of accidental radiation exposure. Irradiation (X-ray, neutron, cobalt gamma) induces a series of events in this rapidly renewing tissue resulting in the well-known symptoms of the gastrointestinal (GI) radiation syndrome, such as GI haemorrhage, endotoxemia, bacterial infection, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of electrolytes and fluid. In spite of the significant advances that have occurred in research on underlying mechanisms over the last two decades, the overall etiology and pathogenesis of the GI-syndrome still remains unclear. Currently, to our knowledge, these symptoms are probably due to a rapid modification of the intestinal motility and to the structural alteration of the intestinal mucosa (cell loss and altered crypt integrity). Several evidences suggest that radiation-induced dysfunctions and structural changes of this organ (either changes in subcellular, cellular, and histological structure) are mediated by concerted and interrelated changes of a plethora of various extracellular mediators and their intracellular messengers. The aim of this review is to summarize our current knowledge about the pathomorphology and cell biology of the ionizing radiation response of the GI tract with a focus on the small intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-178
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Cell kinetics
  • Cell renewal system
  • Colon
  • Gastrointestinal radiation syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Histochemistry
  • Ionizing irradiation
  • Morphology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Signalling
  • Small intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Cell Biology

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