The interval between X-irradiation of the lumbar spinal cord of mice and the onset of hindquarter paralysis was observed to be inversely related to the amount of radiation administered. Using the length of latent period as an endpoint, the fast neutron RBE for spinal cord damage as a function of neutron dose was measured. This RBE for spinal cord injury was observed to be close to unity for high neutron doses in the range of 1700-4500 rad and appeared to increase with decreasing neutron dose. Histological examination of neutron and X-irradiated spinal cords revealed necrosis of white and grey matter and the spinal nerve roots. Vascular damage also was evident in a large percentage of neutron and X-irradiated spinal cords.

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