There are many factors such as process technologies, dose rates and biased conditions which can affect radiation damage in npn transistors. High- and low-dose-rate radiation response of domestic npn transistors with three kinds of emitter areas were investigated in this article. The influence of emitter area on radiation damage was analyzed. The results show that the degradation of current gain was more severe at low dose rate, i.e. enhanced low-dose-rate sensitivity. Furthermore, radiation damage was more apparent at low current injection. Through the comparison of radiation damage for different emitter areas, it was found that greater peri meter-to-area ratio (P/A) would cause greater normalized excess base current (I(B)/I(BD)). The damage mechanism for npn transistors is explained in detail, and the radiation hardness assurance is explored with respect to the emitter area and operating voltage of npn transistors.