Abstract : Disruptions are a sudden loss of confinement of a tokamak plasma which take place in around 20 ms. They may lead to severe damaging of the tokamak structure, through heat deposition on Plasma Facing Components, eletromagnetic stresses and relativistic runaway electrons. On future reactors, disruption mitigation will be critical. Massive gas injection is one of the methods proposed to mitigate disruptions. It was studied both experimentally and numerically in the thesis. Experiments on the Tore Supra and JET tokamaks showed that light gases (helium) were able to suppress runaway electrons. They induce a large a density build-up which is large enough to suppress runaway production. On the contrary, heavier gases should be able to radiate more of the plasma thermal energy, but generate runaway electrons. All gases reduce electromagnetic forces. Gas mixtures have also been tested successfully to combine the advantages of the two types of gas. The gas jet penetration is linked to MHD instabilities enhancing the radial transport of the ionized gas, but preventing the neutrals from penetrating further inside a critical MHD surface. Massive gas injection simulations have been carried out using the 3D MHD code Jorek, by adding a neutral fluid model to the code. Results show that MHD instabilities are triggered more rapidly with high amounts of gas, and that successive rational surfaces are ergodized by the penetration of the density front in the plasma, in agreement with experimental observations.