Radiation to the abdomen and pelvis may result in intestinal injury. Certain factors can increase the risk of intestinal injury.


Risk Factor


previous abdominal or pelvic surgery

adhesions and scarring limit the mobility of the intestine, making it more likely that a beam will affect a limited portion of the intestine

diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease

vascular occlusive disease

thin, elderly and female

more small intestine within radiation field

chemotherapy during or immediately after the radiation therapy

increased radiation sensitivity

increasing dose of radiation

dose-related injury


The risk of injury increases with:

(1) the severity of any one underlying risk factor

(2) the number of risk factors present


I would think malnutrition and other factors reducing the healing process would also favor injury.


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