X-rays which injure intestinal epithelium (and presumably other body or tumor cells) travel in straight lines from the target through the living tissues, forming a cone or beam of rays as controlled by impervious screens.
It is probable that secondary radiation is formed, especially deep in the body tissues, but such radiation does no injury to intestinal epithelium outside of the cone or path of radiation.
Lesions in the stomach and intestine may be confidently predicted from a knowledge of the size and form of the cone or beam of x-rays given over the abdomen. These lesions even more than skin burns do not heal and may in fact go on after many weeks to perforation.
Even in the depths of the abdomen the duodenal lesions are as clean-cut as a peptic ulcer, indicating the lack of dispersion or scattering of the primary or secondary rays in passage through the living tissues. Transition from normal to necrotic mucosa rarely occupies more than 2 to 3 mm. and often can be observed in a single low power microscopic field.