Neurological complications after 434 MHz microwave hyperthermia of the rat lumbar region including the spinal cord

N A Franken, H H De Vrind, P Sminia, J Haveman, D Troost, D Gonzalez Gonzalez

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Hyperthermia was applied in the region of the vertebral column from the second to the fifth lumbar vertebra using a ring-shaped 434 MHz microwave radiator. In all experiments temperatures were measured at a 'reference' thermocouple which was placed against the fourth lumbar vertebra. After 60 min of heat treatment at 'reference' temperatures of 43.0 degrees C, 44.0 degrees C and 45.0 degrees C (+/- 0.05 degrees C) the average maximal temperature inside the vertebral canal were 42.6 degrees C, 43.0 degrees C and 43.8 degrees C (+/- 0.3 degrees C), respectively. At all 'reference' temperatures the maximal core temperature of the animal did not exceed 40.5 +/- 0.3 degrees C after 60 min of heat treatment. Dorsal skin and muscle temperatures in the treatment area reached 'reference' temperature, and transient skin and muscle necrosis was observed after treatment for 1 h at 'reference' temperatures at 44 degrees C and 45 degrees C. Temperatures in the peritoneal cavity approximately 1 mm ventrally of the vertebral column rose to 41.8 degrees C after 60 min at reference 43.0 degrees C. Treatment at spinal cord temperature 42.6 degrees C for 60 min did not induce any significant neurological effects. Motoric dysfunction of the hind legs, such as difficulties with walking, was observed after 60 min treatment at spinal cord temperatures of 43.0 degrees C or 43.8 degrees C. In addition, 24 h after treatment at 43.8 degrees C for 60 min loss of tail tonus was observed, as well as loss of sensory function in the hind limbs. Recovery from the neurological disorders, except for the loss of tail tonus, occurred within 2 weeks after treatment. Histopathological examination revealed necrosis in the central areas of the spinal cord at 3 days and complete necrosis at 7 days after treatment at 43.8 degrees C for 60 min.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-38
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1992

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