Optimizing the Microscopy Time Schedule for Chromosomal Dosimetry of High-dose and Partial-body Irradiations

Genome Integr. 2017 Jan 23;8:3. doi: 10.4103/2041-9414.198908. eCollection 2017.


The methodology of cytogenetic triage can be improved by optimizing a schedule of microscopy for different exposure scenarios. Chromosome aberrations were quantified by microscopy in human blood lymphocytes irradiated in vitro to ~2, 4, and 12 Gy acute 60Co γ-rays mixed with the unirradiated blood simulating 10%, 50%, 90%, and 100% exposure and in along with a sample from a homogeneous exposure to ~20 Gy. Biodosimetry workload was statistically modeled assuming that 0.5, 1, 5, or 25 h was available for scoring one case or for analysis of up to 1000 cells or 100 dicentrics plus centric rings by one operator. A strong negative correlation was established between the rates of aberration acquisition and cell recording. Calculations showed that the workload of 1 case per operator per·day (5 h of scoring by microscopy) allows dose estimates with high accuracy for either 90%-100% irradiations of 2 Gy or 50%-90% irradiations of 4-12 Gy; lethal homogeneous (100%) exposures of 12 and 20 Gy can be evaluated with just 1 h of microscopy. Triage analysis of 0.5 h scoring per case results in the minimum tolerable accuracy only for partial- and total-body exposure of 4-20 Gy. Time-related efficacy of conventional biodosimetry depends primarily on the aberration yield in the sample, which is dependent on the radiation dose and its distribution in the patient's body. An optimized schedule of microscopy scoring should be developed for different exposure scenarios in each laboratory to increase their preparedness to radiological emergencies.

Keywords: Biodosimetry; chromosome aberrations; dicentrics; ionizing radiation; lymphocytes.