Zou, Z., Sun, H., Su, Y., Cheng, T. and Luo, C. Progress in Research on Radiation Combined Injury in China. Radiat. Res. 169, 722–729 (2008).
The significant feature of radiation combined injury is the occurrence of a combined effect. For decades our institute has focused on studying the key complications of radiation-burn injury, including shock, suppression of hematopoiesis and immunity, gastrointestinal damage and local refractory wound healing. Here we summarize recent advancements in elucidating the mechanisms of and potential treatments for radiation combined injury. Concerning the suppression and regeneration of hematopoiesis in radiation combined injury, mechanisms of megakaryocyte damage have been elucidated and a new type of fusion protein stimulating thrombopoiesis has been developed and is being tested in animals. With regard to the damage and repair of intestinal epithelium, the important molecular mechanisms of radiation combined injury have been clarified, and new measures to prevent and treat gastrointestinal tract injury are proposed. With respect to the difficulties encountered in wound healing, the underlying causes of radiation combined injury have been proposed, and some potential methods to accelerate wound closure are under study. Systemic experiments have been done to determine the appropriate time for eschar excision and skin grafting, and the results provided significant insight into clinical treatment of the injury. In the search for early therapeutic regimens for severe burns and radiation combined injury to prevent deterioration of injuries and to improve survival, cervical sympathetic ganglion block was used for the treatment of animals with radiation combined injury and had significant benefits. These research advancements have potential for application in on-site emergency rescue and in-hospital treatment of radiation combined injury.