Therapy of Postirradiation Marrow Hypoplasia with Blood Components and Antibiotics
ARMED FORCES RADIOBIOLOGY RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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Beagles exposed to 350 rads bilateral 60Co gamma radiation without subsequent supportive treatment died with an average survival time of 14 days and with the expected signs of the hematopoietic syndrome leukopenia, fever and bacteremia. Neither the administration of prophylactic antibiotics sodium ampicillin and gentamicin sulfate alone nor the transfusion of irradiated erythrocytes and platelets altered the mortality although the antibiotic regimen resulted in a small but significant mean prolongation of life to 18 days. When erythrocyte and platelet transfusions were administered in combination with the parenteral antibiotic regimen during the period of profound leukopenia, eight of nine treated animals survived. This combined regimen allowed autochthonous recovery of marrow function, observed 18-28 days postirradiation. Once myelogenous recovery had begun, the antibiotics were discontinued. Erythrocyte and platelet transfusions could usually be discontinued during the 4th week postirradiation. This simple therapeutic regimen resulted in a greater survival rate for beagles following uniformly lethal doses of irradiation than has been reported previously.