Low-dose X-irradiation of adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. Efficacy of different fractionation schedules.

Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, University of Leipzig, Germany.
Strahlentherapie und Onkologie (Impact Factor: 4.16). 04/2004; 180(3):165-72. DOI: 10.1007/s00066-004-1197-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Low-dose radiotherapy is widely accepted as a very effective treatment option for inflammatory symptoms associated with painful degenerative joint disorders. Radiation doses and fractionation schedules in practical use are empirical and mainly based on clinical observations. Experimental data are rare. The efficacy of low-dose X-irradiation on adjuvant induced arthritis in rats using different fractionation schemes was investigated in vivo, in order to explore whether there is a dose and fractionation dependence.
Adjuvant arthritis in female Lewis rats (n = 128) was induced by intradermal injection of heat-inactivated Mycobacterium tuberculosis on day 0. Both arthritic hind paws were sham-irradiated (group 1: days 10-14; group 2: days 15-19; group 3: days 22-26) or X-irradiated with either 5 x 1.0 Gy (group 4: days 10-14; group 6: days 15-19; group 8: days 22-26; group 10: days 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18) or 5 x 0.5 Gy (group 5: days 10-14; group 7: days 15-19; group 9: days 22-26; group 11: days 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18; group 12: days 10-14 and 22-26). The clinical parameters arthritis score (AS), hind paw volume (HPV), and body weight were determined.
A significant decrease of the clinical arthritis parameters was observed following 5 x 0.5 Gy or 5 x 1.0 Gy during the acute maximum of the inflammatory response (days 15-19). The most pronounced treatment effect was reached after two daily fractionated series of 5 x 0.5 Gy with an early treatment onset (days 10-14) and repetition in interval (days 22-26). After the application of 5 x 1.0 Gy on days 10-14 or in a protracted scheme (days 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18), only a nonsignificant positive trend could be detected. Daily fractionated X-irradiation in the chronic phase of adjuvant arthritis (days 22-26) did not show any positive clinical effect.
Low-dose radiotherapy is able to prevent a full-blown arthritic reaction if given during the florid phase of adjuvant arthritis. Two series of 5 x 0.5 Gy with an early treatment onset (days 10-14) and repetition in interval (days 22-26) were the most effective treatment schedule in this experimental study.

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