The nuclear accident at Chernobyl accounted for an acute radiation syndrome in 237 persons on the site. Triage was the initial problem and was carried out according to clinical and biological criteria; evaluating the doses received was based on these criteria. Thirty one persons died and only 1 survived a dose higher than 6 Gy. Skin radiation burns which were due to inadequate decontamination, greatly worsened prognosis. The results of 13 bone marrow transplantations were disappointing, with only 2 survivors. Some time after the accident, these severely irradiated patients are mainly suffering from psychosomatic disorders, in the USSR, some areas have been significantly contaminated and several measures were taken to mitigate the impact on population: evacuating 135,000 persons, distributing prophylactic iodine, establishing standards and controls on foodstuff. Radiation phobia syndrome which developed in many persons, is the only sanitary effect noticed up to now. Finally, in Europe, there was only an increase in induced abortions and this was totally unwarranted. If we consider the risk of radiation induced cancer, an effect might not be demonstrated.
Previously, this study group found that female childhood cancer survivors could be at risk of early cessation of fertility. The aim of the present study was to evaluate reproductive function in the same group of survivors 10 years after the initial study. Of the original cohort of 100, 71 were re-examined. Thirty-six survivors reported regular menstrual cycles. When they were compared with 210 controls, they differed significantly in antral follicle count (AFC) (median 15 versus 18, P=0.047) but not in anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) (median 13.0 versus 17.8 pmol/l). Survivors cured with minimal gonadotoxic treatment had significantly higher AMH and AFC compared with survivors cured with either potentially gonadotoxic treatment or treatment including alkylating chemotherapy and ovarian irradiation (20.0, 5.8 and