Five body measurements--standing height, body weight, sitting height, chest circumference and intercristal diameter--of 18-year-old atomic bomb survivors exposed in utero in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were analyzed in relation to DS86 uterine dose. Age in utero was divided into four periods: 0-7, 8-15, 16-25 and > or = 26 weeks. This categorization is based upon the study of radiation-induced brain damage. The linear regression analyses for these five variables showed significant decreases with increasing dose. The regression coefficients were -2.65 cm/Gy for standing height, -2.46 kg/Gy for body weight, -0.92 cm/Gy for sitting height, -1.37 cm/Gy for chest circumference and -0.32 cm/Gy for intercristal diameter. The multivariate test statistic for the overall dose effect on five body measurements was significant, but the interaction between dose and gestational period was not significant. Principal-component analysis was applied to the five variables. For the first-component scores, the dose effect was significant, but the interaction between dose and gestational period was not significant. For the second-component scores, the dose effect was significant specifically at 0-7 weeks. The radiation dose effect on the second principal component found at 0-7 weeks of gestation suggests that malformations occur in this period.