The qualitative and quantitative parameters of hemopoiesis and immunocompetent cells were studied in 365 children in the early "iodine" and long-term periods after the accident. In accordance with primary response, a group consisting of 28 subjects with so-called "radiation injury" was distinguished. The early period was marked by unusual qualitative and quantitative hematological changes which, however, did not lead to the development of the hematological syndrome characteristic of acute radiation injury. Certain deviations that corresponded to somatic pathology were detectable at the late periods after the accident.
A total of 18 patients with acute leukemia from those exposed to radiation when they had liquidated the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Power Station were examined. Sixteen of them had acute myeloblast cell leukemia, one had acute lymphatic leukemia, and another one had acute promyelocytic leukemia. A complex of hematological, immunocytological, and cytochemical findings, as well as leukocytic and erythrocytic genetically determined antigen typing were used for diagnosis. Signs of severe vegetovascular dystonia was found to be followed by acute leukemia in all the patients. A relationship was established between the therapy resistance and the HLA antigen homozygosity in combination with genetically-determined low reactivity. There were no significant differences between the parameters in question and those in patients with acute leukemia who had been studied in the preaccident period.
The immune system was examined in those who participated in the liquidation of accident sequelae at the Chernobyl Atomic Power Station and the population exposed to ionizing radiation. Alteration in surface antigenic markers of basic regulatory subpopulations of immunocompetent cells and metabolic changes are caused by radiation and co-existent somatic diseases. Typing for HLA antigens and proteins with a genetically determined phenotype revealed characteristic features of their distribution for the general population.