Soft Tissue Radionecrosis
Soft tissue radionecrosis (STRN) refers to the death (necrosi) of soft tissues as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation. It is a counterpart of osteoradionecrosis, which is the death of bone tissue due to radiation.
Exposure to radiation is the cause of soft tissue radionecrosis. Upon exposure, tissue starts to become damaged and results in the proliferation of cells lining the small arteries and capillaries (proliferative endarteritis). When this happens, blood flow to the tissues decreases, because the blood cannot travel effectively through these arteries. This leads to progressive ischemia (lack of oxygen and nutrients) of the affected tissues. These tissues, though damaged, can still survive. However, the appearance of an inciting agent, such as trauma or infection, causes the tissues to die. The surrounding area (not exposed to radiation) may also exhibit some form of damage.
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