The World Health Organization convened a panel of experts to rank the evidence for medical countermeasures for management of acute radiation syndrome (ARS) in a hypothetical scenario involving the hospitalization of 100 to 200 victims. The goal of this panel was to achieve consensus on optimal management of ARS affecting nonhematopoietic organ systems based upon evidence in the published literature.
English-language articles were identified in MEDLINE and PubMed. Reference lists of retrieved articles were distributed to conferees in advance of and updated during the meeting. Published case series and case reports of ARS, publications of randomized controlled trials of relevant interventions used to treat nonirradiated individuals, reports of studies in irradiated animals, and prior recommendations of subject matter experts were selected. Studies were extracted using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment Development and Evaluation system. In cases in which data were limited or incomplete, a narrative review of the observations was made.
No randomized controlled trials of medical countermeasures have been completed for individuals with ARS. Reports of countermeasures were often incompletely described, making it necessary to rely on data generated in nonirradiated humans and in experimental animals. A strong recommendation is made for the administration of a serotonin-receptor antagonist prophylactically when the suspected exposure is >2 Gy and topical steroids, antibiotics, and antihistamines for radiation burns, ulcers, or blisters; excision and grafting of radiation ulcers or necrosis with intractable pain; provision of supportive care to individuals with neurovascular syndrome; and administration of electrolyte replacement therapy and sedatives to individuals with significant burns, hypovolemia, and/or shock. A strong recommendation is made against the use of systemic steroids in the absence of a specific indication. A weak recommendation is made for the use of fluoroquinolones, bowel decontamination, loperamide, and enteral nutrition, and for selective oropharyngeal/digestive decontamination, blood glucose maintenance, and stress ulcer prophylaxis in critically ill patients.
High-quality studies of therapeutic interventions in humans exposed to nontherapeutic radiation are not available, and because of ethical concerns regarding the conduct of controlled studies in humans, such studies are unlikely to emerge in the near future.
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"When dealing with specific recommendations for countermeasures against radiation-induced health impairments, the main fact is that due to the comparatively low number of radiation victims worldwide, there is a clear lack of controlled studies in this area. Therefore, established and accepted animal models , as well as recommendations of national and international expert panels and committees in this field [6-8], are the main sources of information. Still there remains uncertainty in many areas, which is the basis for future research. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fortunately radiation accidents are infrequent occurrences, but since they have the potential of large scale events like the nuclear accidents of Chernobyl and Fukushima, preparatory planning of the medical management of radiation accident victims is very important. Radiation accidents can result in different types of radiation exposure for which the diagnostic and therapeutic measures, as well as the outcomes, differ. The clinical course of acute radiation syndrome depends on the absorbed radiation dose and its distribution. Multi-organ-involvement and multi-organ-failure need be taken into account. The most vulnerable organ system to radiation exposure is the hematopoietic system. In addition to hematopoietic syndrome, radiation induced damage to the skin plays an important role in diagnostics and the treatment of radiation accident victims. The most important therapeutic principles with special reference to hematopoietic syndrome and cutaneous radiation syndrome are reviewed.
BMC Medicine 11/2011; 9(1):126. DOI:10.1186/1741-7015-9-126 · 7.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sepsis is the leading cause of mortality in intensive care units. Early detection and intervention are critical to prevent death. The acute radiation syndrome is characterized by damage of the gastrointestinal and hematopoietic systems. Translocation of intestinal microflora combined with immune system compromise may lead to septicemia and death. This work examined the utility of procalcitonin, a clinical sepsis biomarker, in a mouse model of radiation toxicity. C57/BL6 mice were exposed to total body irradiation (TBI). Intestinal mucosal permeability was measured in vivo, and liver bacterial load and plasma levels of procalcitonin (PCT), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and LPS-binding protein were measured at baseline and at 3.5, 7, and 10 days after TBI. The value of early PCT in predicting subsequent lethality was determined by receiver operating characteristic analysis. Four days after TBI, a dose-dependent increase in permeability of the intestinal mucosa was observed, whereas bacterial translocation was present from day 7 onward. There was a high positive correlation between bacterial translocation and all sepsis biomarkers, with PCT exhibiting the strongest correlation. Moreover, plasma PCT levels were elevated already from day 3.5 onward, whereas LPS was elevated from day 7 and LPS-binding protein only 10 days after TBI. Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that PCT levels measured 3.5 days after TBI predicted lethality at 10 days. These data demonstrate the value of PCT as an early biomarker in radiation-induced bacteremia for mouse studies and suggest that clinical results from other septic conditions may apply to postradiation septicemia in humans.