Chronic radiation syndrome

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Chronic radiation syndrome is a constellation of health effects of radiation that occur after months or years of chronic exposure to high amounts. Chronic radiation syndrome develops with a speed and severity proportional to the radiation dose received, i.e., it is a deterministic effect of exposure to ionizing radiation, unlike radiation-induced cancer. It is distinct from acute radiation syndrome in that it occurs at dose rates low enough to permit natural repair mechanisms to compete with the radiation damage during the exposure period. Dose rates high enough to cause the acute form (> ~0.1 Gy/h) are fatal long before onset of the chronic form. The lower threshold for chronic radiation syndrome is between 0.7 and 1.5 Gy, at dose rates above 0.1 Gy/yr.[1] This condition is primarily known from the Kyshtym disaster, where 66 cases were diagnosed, and has received little mention in Western literature.[1] A future ICRP publication, currently in draft, may recognize the condition but with higher thresholds.[2]

In 2013, Alexander V. Akleyev described the chronology of the clinical course or CRS while presenting at ConRad in Munich, Germany. In his presentation, he defined the latent period as being 1-5 years, and the formation coinciding with the period of maximum radiation dose. The recovery period was described as being 3-12 months after exposure ceased. He concluded that "CRS represents a systemic response of the body as a whole to the chronic total body exposure in man."[3] In 2014, Akleyev's book "Comprehensive analysis of chronic radiation syndrome, covering epidemiology, pathogenesis, pathoanatomy, diagnosis and treatment" was published by Springer.[4]


  1. ^ a b Gusev, Igor A.; Gusʹkova, Angelina Konstantinovna; Mettler, Fred Albert (2001-03-28). Medical Management of Radiation Accidents. CRC Press. pp. 15–29. ISBN 978-0-8493-7004-5. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  2. ^ ICRP. "Early and late effects of radiation in normal tissues and organs: threshold doses for tissue reactions and other non-cancer effects of radiation in a radiation protection context" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  3. ^ Akleyev, Alexander (2013-05-13). "Chronic Radiation Syndrome (CRS) in residents of the Techa riverside villages" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Chronic Radiation Syndrome | Alexander V. Akleyev | Springer". Retrieved 2016-04-30.