National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine
State Institution "The National Research Center for Radiation Medicine"

ISSN 2313-4607 (Online)
ISSN 2304-8336 (Print)

Problems of Radiation Medicine and Radiobiology



K. M. Loganovsky, V. V. Talko, O. V. Kaminskyi, D. E. Afanasyev, S. V. Masiuk, T. K. Loganovskaya, G. Y. Lavrenchuk

State Institution «National Research Center for Radiation Medicine of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine», 53 Yuriia Illienka St., Kyiv, 04050, Ukraine


Background. Neuroendocrine effects of the prenatal radiation exposure from radioactive iodine in an event of nuclear power reactor accidents are a key issue in the field of radiation medicine and radiation safety because of a dramatic radiosensitivity of the developing organism.
Objective. Review of contemporary epidemiological, clinical and experimental data on neuroendocrine effects of prenatal exposure to 131I.
Object and methods. Search in the PubMed/MEDLINE and Google Scholar abstract databases, along with a manual search for the relevant data sources.
Results. Estimated absorbed doses of intrauterine thyroid irradiation from radioactive iodine were obtained based on ICRP Publication 88, both with estimates of effective radiation doses on embryo and fetus, and estimates of the brain equivalent doses upon exposure in utero. The latter ones are subject to updating. The evidence-based data has been presented regarding a radiation-associated reduction of head and chest circumference at birth, as well as a radiation-associated excess of goiter with large thyroid nodules, and possibly of thyroid cancer after a prenatal exposure to 131I radionuclides. Data on intrauterine brain damage are controversial, but most researchers share the view that there are cognitive and emotional-behavioral disorders due to prenatal and postnatal irradiation and psychosocial impacts. Incidence increase of non-cancerous endocrine disorders and degenerative vascular disease of retina was noted. An experimental model of intrauterine irradiation from 131I on Wistar rats was for the first time ever created, extrapolating the radioneuroembryological effects in rats to individuals prenatally exposed after the Chornobyl disaster. Late neuropsychiatric and endocrine effects may be resulted from the relatively short-term impact of ionizing radiation at a level previously been considered safe. The necessity of neuropsychiatric and endocrinological monitoring of individuals exposed prenatally to ionizing radiation after the Chornobyl catastrophe throughout their life is substantiated. Experimental animal studies are a key direction in the further research of radiation effects, especially associated with low radiation doses. Further experimental and clinical neuroradiobiological studies aimed at exploration of the effect of ionizing radiation on hippocampal neurogenesis are most relevant nowadays.
Key words:131², prenatal irradiation, late endocrine and neuropsychiatric effects, Chornobyl disaster, pathogenesis.

Problems of Radiation Medicine and Radiobiology.
2019;24:20-52. doi: 10.33145/2304-8336-2019-24-20-52

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