Analysis methodology and development of a statistical tool for biodistribution data from internal contamination with actinides

J Radiol Prot. 2017 Mar;37(1):296-308. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/37/1/296.


The aim of this work was to develop a computational tool that integrates several statistical analysis features for biodistribution data from internal contamination experiments. These data represent actinide levels in biological compartments as a function of time and are derived from activity measurements in tissues and excreta. These experiments aim at assessing the influence of different contamination conditions (e.g. intake route or radioelement) on the biological behavior of the contaminant. The ever increasing number of datasets and diversity of experimental conditions make the handling and analysis of biodistribution data difficult. This work sought to facilitate the statistical analysis of a large number of datasets and the comparison of results from diverse experimental conditions. Functional modules were developed using the open-source programming language R to facilitate specific operations: descriptive statistics, visual comparison, curve fitting, and implementation of biokinetic models. In addition, the structure of the datasets was harmonized using the same table format. Analysis outputs can be written in text files and updated data can be written in the consistent table format. Hence, a data repository is built progressively, which is essential for the optimal use of animal data. Graphical representations can be automatically generated and saved as image files. The resulting computational tool was applied using data derived from wound contamination experiments conducted under different conditions. In facilitating biodistribution data handling and statistical analyses, this computational tool ensures faster analyses and a better reproducibility compared with the use of multiple office software applications. Furthermore, re-analysis of archival data and comparison of data from different sources is made much easier. Hence this tool will help to understand better the influence of contamination characteristics on actinide biokinetics. Our approach can aid the optimization of treatment protocols and therefore contribute to the improvement of the medical response after internal contamination with actinides.

MeSH terms

  • Actinoid Series Elements / analysis*
  • Actinoid Series Elements / pharmacokinetics*
  • Algorithms
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Body Burden
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness
  • Software


  • Actinoid Series Elements