Study on endocronological effects of radon speleotherapy on respiratory diseases

Katalin Nagy, István Berhés, Tibor Kovács, Norbert Kávási, János Somlai, László Kovács, István Barna, Tamás Bender

Research output: Article

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Radon, as a radioactive noble gas of natural origin, is generally present in the atmosphere of caves during the speleotherapeutic treatment of different diseases. However, the role of radon in the therapeutic effect is not fully clarified yet. Endocrine parameter levels may be influenced by radon-like endocrine levels in balneotherapeutic treatments (bath treatment). For this reason changes of these parameters were examined in this study. Patients and method: A total of 81 speleotherapy patients were involved in the survey. They spent four hours daily in Tapolca Cave, five days a week, for two weeks. In this study, the thyreoiedea stimulating hormone, free triiodine-tironin, free thyroxine, prolactine, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and beta endorphine levels of the body were examined before and after the treatment. Results: After statistical analysis of the data a significant decrease of cortisol levels of patients was found, which was not directly correlated with radon concentration. In the case of thyroid hormones, there were no significantly detectable changes of the hormone levels except for low radon concentration levels a significant decrease in the free thyroxine and the thyreoiedea stimulating hormone level of male patients was observed. Conclusion: Speleotherapy has an effect on the level of endocrine hormones; however, no direct correlation with differences in radon level was found. For patients whose endocrine levels fell outside the normal endocrine parameter values, more striking changes in endocrine hormone levels were seen, but changes of these parameters could not be statistically analyzed due to the small number of cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-290
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - márc. 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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