Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2022. Vol. 67. № 6


N.A. Metlyaeva, A.Yu. Bushmanov, I.A. Galstyan, O.V. Shcherbatykh, M.V. Konchalovsky, F.S. Torubarov

Clinical Observation of a Severe Chronic Radiation Sickness Due to External Relatively Uniform Gamma Exposure and Inhalation Intake of Aerosols of Plutonium-239 and its Long-Term Consequences in a Former Worker

A.I. Burnazyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center, Moscow, Russia

Contact person: N.A. Metlyaeva, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Purpose: To describe the clinical observation of chronic radiation sickness (CRS) of severe course, caused by relatively uniform external gamma exposure and inhalation intake of plutonium-239 aerosols, and its long-term consequences.

Material and methods: A clinical description of the observation of CRS, which developed from the combined effect of external gamma radiation and inhalation of plutonium-239 aerosols, was given in a former employee of the Mayak Production Association, who was treated for 45 years in a specialized clinic of the Institute of Biophysics of the Ministry.

Conclusion: The clinical picture of CRS in the patient was determined by manifestations of plutonium pneumosclerosis II degree, emphysema, respiratory failure II degree, liver cirrhosis in the active phase, organic changes in the brain in the form of stem vestibular manifestations, osteoalgic syndrome. Significant amounts of plutonium-239 were noted. She was an invalid of group II due to the underlying disease. The disease progressed with damage to the main critical organs (lungs, liver). In the period of long-term consequences, the patient developed peripheral cancer of the lower lobe of the right lung (poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma).

Keywords: chronic radiation sickness, plutonium pneumosclerosis, carriage of plutonium-239, external gamma exposure, peripheral lung cancer

For citation: Metlyaeva NA, Bushmanov AYu, Galstyan IA, Shcherbatykh OV, Konchalovsky MV, Torubarov FS. Clinical Observation of a Severe Chronic Radiation Sickness Due to External Relatively Uniform Gamma Exposure and Inhalation Intake of Aerosols of Plutonium-239 and its Long-Term Consequences in a Former Worker. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2022;67(6):30–35. (In Russian). DOI:10.33266/1024-6177-2022-67-6-30-35



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 Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Financing. The study had no sponsorship.

Contribution. Article was prepared with equal participation of the authors.

Article received: 20.07.2022. Accepted for publication: 25.09.2022.