Circulating platelets, unlike megakaryocytes, are highly radioresistant. The platelets from five leukemic patients receiving extracorporeal irradiation of the blood were labeled with51 Cr. No effect was observed on the life span of the platelets, their ability to take up51 Cr, or their ability to circulate shortly after autotransfusion. Platelets from a nonleukemic patient were similarly resistant to radiation (up to 75,000 rads) given in vitro. Clinical observations of platelet levels in our patients also suggest a lack of radiation damage. The doses of radiation delivered to platelets by extracorporeal irradiation of the blood do not seem to be a limiting factor for this form of treatment.

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