Groups of rats, given 2.5 ml/kg CCl4 subcutaneously or 1.5 ml/kg of 50% CCl4 in olive oil perorally developed in 24 hours hepatic centrolobular necrosis and increased serum levels of glutamic oxalacetic and pyruvic transaminases, lactic dehydrogenase and aldolase. These changes were greater after a peroral dose. A whole-body exposure to 550 R 24 hours before CCl4 administration decreased food consumption and augmented the changes in nonfasted rats. A 24-hour fast, begun 16 hours before CCl4 administration, further aggravated changes in both irradiated and nonirradiated groups, and group differences were minor. The effect of irradiation on CCl4 toxicity seems due largely to reduced food consumption on the second day. However, augmentation of tissue and serum enzyme changes occurs even when the irradiation is given 11 days before CCl4 and food consumption has returned to normal. This suggests that occult damage to the liver or residual damage to the intestine or other organs directly or indirectly may contribute to lessening the ability of the liver to detoxify certain compounds. These findings suggest caution in prescribing restricted diets and potentially hepatotoxic drugs to radiotherapy patients.

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