ionizing radiation injury


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ionizing radiation injury

Etymology: Gk, ion, going; L, radiare, to shine, injuria
damage or ill effects suffered by exposure to ionizing radiation, including cellular harm resulting from radiation for diagnostic or therapeutic application. The risk of cell death or injury from radiation depends on the type of tissue cells, the stage of cell division at the time of exposure, the intensity and time span of exposure, and the type of radiation administered. See also radiation burn.

ionizing radiation injury

Damage to cells and intracellular molecules by x-rays, gamma rays, radionuclides, or other sources of radioactive energy. In sufficient doses, radioactive energy can damage the cytoplasm and the genetic material of the cell, leading to organ dysfunction (esp. in rapidly dividing tissues such as the skin and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract), mutations, inhibition of cell division, cell death, or carcinogenesis. When the developing fetus is exposed to radiation in the womb, developmental malformations may result.
See: low-level radiation; radiation syndrome
See also: injury