What are deterministic versus stochastic health effects of radiation exposure?
Deterministic health effects, such as acute radiation syndrome, are those occurring above a dose threshold and increase in severity with an increasing radiation dose. In other words, deterministic health effects are directly related to the radiation dose received.
Stochastic health effects, such as radiogenic cancers, are those that occur with a given probability after radiation exposure – increasing in probability, but not severity, in proportion to radiation dose. In other words, stochastic health effects can be seen after any radiation exposure.
Kazzi Z.N. (2017) Acute Radiation Injuries. In: Brent J. et al. (eds) Critical Care Toxicology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17900-1_32
Contributed by: Mark Layer, MD on behalf of the Radiation Section