Comparative pathogenesis of radium-induced intracortical bone lesions in humans and beagles. Academic Article uri icon


  • Morphologic changes resulting from the effects of chronic radionuclide toxicity (226Ra) in the skeletons of workers in the radioluminescent dial painting industry with preterminal body burdens ranging from about 1.5 to 0.042 muCi were compared with the pathologic alterations in the skeletons of a group of 38 beagle dogs injected with 1.12 muCi/kg. Similarities observed in the skeletal responses of the two species were the presence of (1) dead bone tissue with delayed resolution, (2) a chronic disturbance in the remodeling mechanism of bone tissue, and (3) radiation-induced bone sarcomas. A detailed analysis of sequential changes in radiographic lesions arising in the beagle skeletons, complemented by histopathologic evaluation at the time of limb amputation or at necropsy, has enabled us to examined the disturbance in the bone remodeling process. The perturbation of critical importance in the generation of primary bone tumors appears to lie in the bone tissue formation and deposition phase of the bone remodeling process and gives rise to a spectrum of histologic patterns which we have termed "radiation osteodystrophy." While some of the newly generated patterns demonstrate indolent behavior with fibrous tissue replacement and bone marrow refill, other sites of bone resorption are replaced by a unique fibro-osseous tissue response resembling fibrous dysplasia or osteoblastoma. Some of these proliferative lesions may undergo progressive malignant degeneration. While the more indolent part of the spectrum was also seen in human skeletal tissues, only premalignant and early sarcomatous stages were seen in canine tissues.

published proceedings

  • Health Phys

author list (cited authors)

  • Pool, R. R., Morgan, J. P., Parks, N. J., Farnham, J. E., & Littman, M. S.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Pool, RR||Morgan, JP||Parks, NJ||Farnham, JE||Littman, MS

publication date

  • January 1983