We maintain this section to inform interested users about independent scientific studies conducted on MetaSystems products. We assume no responsibility or liability regarding the accuracy or correct use of the information or statements provided by external authors. The conclusions or statements expressed in the publications listed are those of the external authors or researchers. The publications may involve user-specific adaptations of MetaSystems products. They are not intended for diagnostic use. For publications covered by the Intended Purpose of Metafer or Ikaros, please refer to the respective instructions for use (IFU).

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International journal of molecular sciences, 24
March, 2023

High Resolution and Automatable Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Using In Situ Telomere and Centromere Hybridization for the Accurate Detection of DNA Damage: An Overview.

M'Kacher, Radhia, Colicchio, Bruno, Junker, Steffen, El Maalouf, Elie, Heidingsfelder, Leonhard, Plesch, Andreas, Dieterlen, Alain, Jeandidier, Eric, Carde, Patrice, Voisin, Philippe

<p>In the event of a radiological or nuclear accident, or when physical dosimetry is not available, the scoring of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes constitutes an essential tool for the estimation of the absorbed dose of the exposed individual and for effective triage. Cytogenetic biodosimetry employs different cytogenetic assays including the scoring of dicentrics, micronuclei, and translocations as well as analyses of induced premature chromosome condensation to define the frequency of chromosome aberrations. However, inherent challenges using these techniques include the considerable time span from sampling to result, the sensitivity and specificity of the various techniques, and the requirement of highly skilled personnel. Thus, techniques that obviate these challenges are needed. The introduction of telomere and centromere (TC) staining have successfully met these challenges and, in addition, greatly improved the efficiency of cytogenetic biodosimetry through the development of automated approaches, thus reducing the need for specialized personnel. Here, we review the role of the various cytogenetic dosimeters and their recent improvements in the management of populations exposed to genotoxic agents such as ionizing radiation. Finally, we discuss the emerging potentials to exploit these techniques in a wider spectrum of medical and biological applications, e.g., in cancer biology to identify prognostic biomarkers for the optimal triage and treatment of patients.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/ijms24065699

Health physics, 119, 52--58
July, 2020

Automated Dicentric Aberration Scoring for Triage Dose Assessment: 60Co Gamma Ray Dose-response at Different Dose Rates.

Subramanian, Uma, O'Brien, Brett, McNamara, Maureen, Romanyukha, Lyudmila, Bolduc, David L., Olsen, Cara, Blakely, William F.

<p>The objective of this study was to establish radiation dose-response calibration curves using automated dicentric scoring to support rapid and accurate cytogenetic triage dose-assessment. Blood was drawn from healthy human volunteers and exposed to Co gamma rays at several dose rates (i.e., 1.0, 0.6, and 0.1 Gy min). After radiation, the blood was placed for 2 h in a 37 °C incubator for repair. Blood was then cultured in complete media to which a mitogen (i.e., phytoghemagglutinin, concentration 4%) was added for 48 h. Colcemid was added to the culture at a final concentration of 0.2 μg mL after 24 h for the purpose of arresting first-division metaphase mitotics. Cells were harvested at the end of 48 h. Samples were processed using an automated metaphase harvester and automated microscope metaphase finder equipped with a suite of software including a specialized automated dicentric scoring application. The data obtained were used to create dose-response tables of dicentric yields. The null hypothesis that the data is Poisson-distributed could not be rejected at the significance level of α = 0.05 using results from a Shiny R Studio application (goodness-of-fit Poisson). Calibration curves based on linear-quadratic fits for Co gamma rays at the three different dose rates were generated using these data. The calibration curves were used to detect blind test cases. In conclusion, using the automated harvester and automated microscope metaphase finder with associated automated dicentric scoring software demonstrates high-throughput with suitable accuracy for triage radiation dose assessment.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1097/HP.0000000000001285

Scientific reports, 10, 2899
February, 2020

A High Throughput Approach to Reconstruct Partial-Body and Neutron Radiation Exposures on an Individual Basis.

Shuryak, Igor, Turner, Helen C., Perrier, Jay R., Cunha, Lydia, Canadell, Monica Pujol, Durrani, Mohammad H., Harken, Andrew, Bertucci, Antonella, Taveras, Maria, Garty, Guy, Brenner, David J.

Biodosimetry-based individualized reconstruction of complex irradiation scenarios (partial-body shielding and/or neutron + photon mixtures) can improve treatment decisions after mass-casualty radiation-related incidents. We used a high-throughput micronucleus assay with automated scanning and imaging software on ex-vivo irradiated human lymphocytes to: a) reconstruct partial-body and/or neutron exposure, and b) estimate separately the photon and neutron doses in a mixed exposure. The mechanistic background is that, compared with total-body photon irradiations, neutrons produce more heavily-damaged lymphocytes with multiple micronuclei/binucleated cell, whereas partial-body exposures produce fewer such lymphocytes. To utilize these differences for biodosimetry, we developed metrics that describe micronuclei distributions in binucleated cells and serve as predictors in machine learning or parametric analyses of the following scenarios: (A) Homogeneous gamma-irradiation, mimicking total-body exposures, vs. mixtures of irradiated blood with unirradiated blood, mimicking partial-body exposures. (B) X rays vs. various neutron + photon mixtures. The results showed high accuracies of scenario and dose reconstructions. Specifically, receiver operating characteristic curve areas (AUC) for sample classification by exposure type reached 0.931 and 0.916 in scenarios A and B, respectively. R for actual vs. reconstructed doses in these scenarios reached 0.87 and 0.77, respectively. These encouraging findings demonstrate a proof-of-principle for the proposed approach of high-throughput reconstruction of clinically-relevant complex radiation exposure scenarios.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1038/s41598-020-59695-9

Mutation research, 849, 503141
January, 2020

Premature chromosome condensation assay to study influence of high-level natural radiation on the initial DNA double strand break repair in human G0 lymphocytes.

Vivek Kumar, P. R., Karuppasamy, C. V., Ramachandran, E. N., Anil Kumar, V., Jaikrishan, G., Das, Birajalaxmi

The inherent capacity of individuals to efficiently repair ionizing radiation induced DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) may be inherited, however, it is influenced by several epigenetic and environmental factors. A pilot study tested whether chronic low dose natural radiation exposure influences the rejoining of initial DNA DSBs induced by a 2 Gy γ-irradiation in 22 individuals from high (&gt;1.5 mGy/year) and normal (≤1.5 mGy/year) level natural radiation areas (H&amp;NLNRA) of Kerala. Rejoining of DSBs (during 1 h at 37 °C, immediately after irradiation) was evaluated at the chromosome level in the presence and absence of wortmannin (a potent inhibitor of DSB repair in normal human cells) using a cell fusion-induced premature chromosome condensation (PCC) assay. The PCC assay quantitates DSBs in the form of excess chromosome fragments in human G lymphocytes without the requirement for cell division. A quantitative difference was observed in the early rejoining of DNA DSBs between individuals from HLNRA and NLNRA, with HLNRA individuals showing a higher (P = 0.05) mean initial repair ratio. The results indicate an influence of chronic low dose natural radiation on initial DNA DSB repair in inhabitants of HLNRA of the Kerala coast.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2020.503141

Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, 847, 503087

Optimization and validation of automated dicentric chromosome analysis for radiological/nuclear triage applications

Ryana, Terri L., Escalonaa, Maria B., Smith, Tammy L., Albanese, Joseph, Iddinsa, Carol J., Balajee, Adayabalam S.

Dicentric Chromosome Assay (DCA) is the most preferred cytogenetic technique for absorbed radiation dose assessment in exposed humans. However, DCA is somewhat impractical for triage application owing to its labor intensive and time consuming nature. Although lymphocyte culture for 48 h <em>in vitro</em> is inevitable for DCA, manual scoring of dicentric chromosomes (DCs) requires an additional time of 24–48 h, making the overall turnaround time of 72–96 h for dose estimation. To accelerate the speed of DC analysis for dose estimation, an automated tool was optimized and validated for triage mode of scoring. Several image training files were created to improve the specificity of automated DC analysis algorithm. Accuracy and efficiency of the automated (unsupervised) DC scoring was compared with the semi-automated scoring that involved human verification and correction of DCs (elimination of false positives and inclusion of true positives). DC scoring was performed by both automated and semi-automated modes for different doses of X-rays and γ-rays (0 Gy–5 Gy). Biodoses estimated from the frequencies of DCs detected by both automated (unsupervised) and semi-automated (supervised) scoring modes were grossly similar to the actual delivered doses in the range of 0.5 to 3 Gy of low LET radiation. We suggest that the automated DC tool can be effectively used for large scale radiological/nuclear incidents where a rapid segregation is essential for prioritizing moderately or severely exposed humans to receive appropriate medical countermeasures.

Digital object identifier (DOI):

Radiation protection dosimetry, 182, 139–145
December, 2018


Balajee, Adayabalam S, Smith, Tammy, Ryan, Terri, Escalona, Maria, Dainiak, Nicholas

Use of ionizing radiation (IR) in various industrial, medical and other applications can potentially increase the risk of medical, occupational or accidental human exposure. Additionally, in the event of a radiological or nuclear (R/N) incident, several tens of hundreds and thousands of people are likely to be exposed to IR. IR causes serious health effects including mortality from acute radiation syndrome and therefore it is imperative to determine the absorbed radiation dose, which will enable physicians in making an appropriate clinical 'life-saving' decision. The 'Dicentric Chromosome Assay (DCA)' is the gold standard for estimating the absorbed radiation dose but its performance is time consuming and laborious. Further, timely evaluation of dicentric chromosomes (DCs) for dose estimation in a large number of samples provides a bottleneck because of a limited number of trained personnel and a prolonged time for manual analysis. To circumvent some of these technical issues, we developed and optimized a miniaturized high throughput version of DCA (mini-DCA) in a 96-microtube matrix with bar-coded 1.4 ml tubes to enable the processing of a large number of samples. To increase the speed of DC analysis for radiation dose estimation, a semi-automated scoring was optimized using the Metafer DCScore algorithm. The accuracy of mini-DCA in dose estimation was verified and validated though comparison with conventional DCA performed in 15 ml conical tubes. The mini-DCA considerably reduced the sample processing time by a factor of 4 when compared to the conventional DCA. Further, the radiation doses estimated by mini-DCA using the triage mode of scoring (50 cells or 30 DCs) were similar to that of conventional DCA using 300-500 cells. The mini-DCA coupled with semi-automated DC scoring not only reduced the sample processing and analysis times by a factor of 4 but also enabled the processing of a large number of samples at once. Our mini-DCA method, once automated for high throughput robotic platforms, will be an effective radiological triage tool for mass casualty incidents.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1093/rpd/ncy127

International journal of radiation biology, 93, 48–57
January, 2017

Dose assessment intercomparisons within the RENEB network using G0-lymphocyte prematurely condensed chromosomes (PCC assay).

Terzoudi, Georgia I, Pantelias, Gabriel, Darroudi, Firouz, Barszczewska, Katarzyna, Buraczewska, Iwona, Depuydt, Julie, Georgieva, Dimka, Hadjidekova, Valeria, Hatzi, Vasiliki I, Karachristou, Ioanna, Karakosta, Maria, Meschini, Roberta, M'Kacher, Radhia, Montoro, Alegria, Palitti, Fabrizio, Pantelias, Antonio, Pepe, Gaetano, Ricoul, Michelle, Sabatier, Laure, Sebastià , Natividad, Sommer, Sylwester, Vral, Anne, Zafiropoulos, Demetre, Wojcik, Andrzej

Dose assessment intercomparisons within the RENEB network were performed for triage biodosimetry analyzing G0-lymphocyte PCC for harmonization, standardization and optimization of the PCC assay. Comparative analysis among different partners for dose assessment included shipment of PCC-slides and captured images to construct dose-response curves for up to Gy γ-rays. Accident simulation exercises were performed to assess the suitability of the PCC assay by detecting speed of analysis and minimum number of cells required for categorization of potentially exposed individuals. Calibration data based on Giemsa-stained fragments in excess of 46 PCC were obtained by different partners using galleries of PCC images for each dose-point. Mean values derived from all scores yielded a linear dose-response with approximately 4 excess-fragments/cell/Gy. To unify scoring criteria, exercises were carried out using coded PCC-slides and/or coded irradiated blood samples. Analysis of samples received 24 h post-exposure was successfully performed using Giemsa staining (1 excess-fragment/cell/Gy) or centromere/telomere FISH-staining for dicentrics. Dose assessments by RENEB partners using appropriate calibration curves were mostly in good agreement. The PCC assay is quick and reliable for whole- or partial-body triage biodosimetry by scoring excess-fragments or dicentrics in G0-lymphocytes. Particularly, analysis of Giemsa-stained excess PCC-fragments is simple, inexpensive and its automation could increase throughput and scoring objectivity of the PCC assay.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1080/09553002.2016.1234725

Radiat Prot Dosimetry
July, 2016

A New Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Image Repository for the Dicentric Assay.

Romm, Horst, Beinke, Christina, Garcia, Omar, Di Giorgio, Marina, Gregoire, Eric, Livingston, Gordon, Lloyd, David, Martinez-Lopez, Wilner, Moquet, Jayne E., Sugarman, Stephen L., Wilkins, Ruth C., Ainsbury, Elizabeth A.

The BioDoseNet was founded by the World Health Organization as a global network of biodosimetry laboratories for building biodosimetry laboratory capacities in countries. The newly established BioDoseNet image repository is a databank of ~25 000 electronically captured images of metaphases from the dicentric assay, which have been previously analysed by international experts. The detailed scoring results and dose estimations have, in most cases, already been published. The compilation of these images into one image repository provides a valuable tool for training and research purposes in biological dosimetry. No special software is needed to view and score the image galleries. For those new to the dicentric assay, the BioDoseNet Image Repository provides an introduction to and training for the dicentric assay. It is an excellent instrument for intra-laboratory training purposes or inter-comparisons between laboratories, as recommended by the International Organization for Standardisation standards. In the event of a radiation accident, the repository can also increase the surge capacity and reduce the turnaround time for dose estimations. Finally, it provides a mechanism for the discussion of scoring discrepancies in difficult cases.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1093/rpd/ncw158

Radiat Environ Biophys
March, 2016

Chromosome aberrations in Japanese fishermen exposed to fallout radiation 420-1200 km distant from the nuclear explosion test site at Bikini Atoll: report 60 years after the incident.

Tanaka, Kimio, Ohtaki, Megu, Hoshi, Masaharu

<p>During the period from March to May, 1954, the USA conducted six nuclear weapon tests at the "Bravo" detonation sites at the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls, Marshall Islands. At that time, the crew of tuna fishing boats and cargo ships that were operating approximately 150-1200 km away from the test sites were exposed to radioactive fallout. The crew of the fishing boats and those on cargo ships except the "5th Fukuryu-maru" did not undergo any health examinations at the time of the incident. In the present study, chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes were examined in detail by the G-banding method in 17 crew members from 8 fishing boats and 2 from one cargo ship, 60 years after the tests. None of the subjects examined had suffered from cancer. The percentages of both stable-type aberrations such as translocation, inversion and deletion, and unstable-type aberrations such as dicentric and centric ring in the study group were significantly higher (1.4- and 2.3-fold, respectively) than those in nine age-matched controls. In the exposed and control groups, the percentages of stable-type aberrations were 3.35 % and 2.45 %, respectively, and the numbers of dicentric and centric ring chromosomes per 100 cells were 0.35 and 0.15, respectively. Small clones were observed in three members of the exposed group. These results suggest that the crews were exposed to slightly higher levels of fallout than had hitherto been assumed.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s00411-016-0648-3

Public Health England. Part of: Radiation: PHE-CRCE report series.

Doses in Radiation Accidents Investigated by Chromosomal Aberration Analysis XXV. Review of cases investigated, 2006-2015.

M Sun, J E Moquet, S Barnard, D C Lloyd, K Rothkamm, E A Ainsbury

<p>During the period 73 people suspected of being overexposed to ionising radiation were referred to Public Health England (and its predecessor the Health Protection Agency) for biological dosimetry. Although the vast majority of cases were suspected occupational overexposures, the most serious case concerned a 2-year-old boy who sustained radiation burns during CT scans performed outside the European Union, which were incorrectly repeated numerous times. The cases included in this summary bring the total number of individuals examined since the laboratory was established in 1968 to 1092. A number of new biological dosimetry techniques have been developed within the last 10 years. These are briefly summarised in this report and represent a large improvement in the laboratory’s ability both to perform accurate routine biological dose estimations and to provide rapid response triage dose estimates following a mass casualty event.</p>

Public Health England. Part of: Radiation: PHE-CRCE report series.

Doses in Radiation Accidents Investigated by Chromosomal Aberration Analysis XXV. Review of cases investigated, 2006–2015.

M Sun, J E Moquet, S Barnard, D C Lloyd, K Rothkamm, E A Ainsbury

During the period 73 people suspected of being overexposed to ionising radiation were referred to Public Health England (and its predecessor the Health Protection Agency) for biological dosimetry. Although the vast majority of cases were suspected occupational overexposures, the most serious case concerned a 2-year-old boy who sustained radiation burns during CT scans performed outside the European Union, which were incorrectly repeated numerous times. The cases included in this summary bring the total number of individuals examined since the laboratory was established in 1968 to 1092. A number of new biological dosimetry techniques have been developed within the last 10 years. These are briefly summarised in this report and represent a large improvement in the laboratory’s ability both to perform accurate routine biological dose estimations and to provide rapid response triage dose estimates following a mass casualty event.

Int J Radiat Biol, 90(2), 193–202
February, 2014

Inter- and intra-laboratory comparison of a multibiodosimetric approach to triage in a simulated, large scale radiation emergency.

Elizabeth A. Ainsbury, Jenna Al-Hafidh, Ainars Bajinskis, Stephen Barnard, Joan Francesc Barquinero, Christina Beinke, Virginie de Gelder, Eric Gregoire, Alicja Jaworska, Carita Lindholm, David Lloyd, Jayne Moquet, Reetta Nylund, Ursula Oestreicher, Sandrine Roch-Lefévre, Kai Rothkamm, Horst Romm, Harry Scherthan, Sylwester Sommer, Hubert Thierens, Charlot Vandevoorde, Anne Vral, Andrzej Wojcik

<p>The European Union's Seventh Framework Programme-funded project 'Multi-disciplinary biodosimetric tools to manage high scale radiological casualties' (MULTIBIODOSE) has developed a multiparametric approach to radiation biodosimetry, with a particular emphasis on triage of large numbers of potentially exposed individuals following accidental exposures. In November 2012, an emergency exercise took place which tested the capabilities of the MULTIBIODOSE project partners. The exercise described here had a dual purpose: Intercomparison of (i) three biodosimetric assays, and (ii) the capabilities of the seven laboratories, with regards to provision of triage status for suspected radiation exposed individuals.Three biological dosimetry tools - the dicentric, micronucleus and gamma-H2AX (the phosphorylated form of member X of histone H2A, in response to DNA double-strand breaks) foci assays - were tested, in addition to provision of the triage status results (low exposure: 2 Gy) by the MULTIBIODOSE software. The exercise was run in two modes: An initial triage categorisation of samples (based on the first dose estimates for each assay received from each laboratory) followed by collation of the full set of estimated doses (all the results from all modes of each assay carried out by the participating laboratories) calculated using as many modes of operation as possible of the different assays developed during the project. Simulated acute whole body and partial body exposures were included.The results of the initial triage categorisation and the full comparison of assays and methods within and between laboratories are presented here.The data demonstrate that the MULTIBIODOSE approach of applying multiparametric tools to radiation emergencies is valid and effective.</p>

Health Phys, 105(4), 366–373
October, 2013

Biodosimetry of restoration workers for the Tokyo Electric PowerCompany (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station accident.

Yumiko Suto, Momoki Hirai, Miho Akiyama, Gen Kobashi, Masanari Itokawa, Makoto Akashi, Nobuyuki Sugiura

The biological dose of nuclear workers engaged in emergency response tasks at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was estimated in the present study. As the national core center for radiation emergency medical preparedness in Japan, the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) received all individuals who were suspected of being overexposed to acute radiation. In the course of health examinations at NIRS, biological dosimetry was performed by the dicentric chromosome assay (DCA). Twelve individuals were examined from 21 March-1 July 2011. The results indicated that the estimated exposure doses for all individuals were lower than 30 mGy, with the mean value of about 101 mGy. These results by DCA were in accordance with those obtained by physical dosimetry based on personal dosimeter recording assessment. The results corroborate the fact that no acute radiation syndrome was observed among the workers examined.

Radiat Res
July, 2013

NATO DOSIMETRY STUDY: Laboratory Intercomparison of the Dicentric Chromosome Analysis Assay.

C. Beinke, S. Barnard, H. Boulay-Greene, A. De Amicis, S. De Sanctis, F. Herodin, A. Jones, U. Kulka, F. Lista, D. Lloyd, P. Martigne, J. Moquet, U. Oestreicher, H. Romm, K. Rothkamm, M. Valente, V. Meineke, H. Braselmann, M. Abend

The study design and obtained results represent an intercomparison of various laboratories performing dose assessment using the dicentric chromosome analysis (DCA) as a diagnostic triage tool for individual radiation dose assessment. Homogenously X-irradiated (240 kVp, 1 Gy/min) blood samples for establishing calibration data (0.25-5 Gy) as well as blind samples (0.1-6.4 Gy) were sent to the participants. DCA was performed according to established protocols. The time taken to report dose estimates was documented for each laboratory. Additional information concerning laboratory organization/characteristics as well as assay performance was collected. The mean absolute difference (MAD) was calculated and radiation doses were merged into four triage categories reflecting clinical aspects to calculate accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. The earliest report time was 2.4 days after sample arrival. DCA dose estimates were reported with high and comparable accuracy, with MAD values ranging between 0.16-0.5 Gy for both manual and automated scoring. No significant differences were found for dose estimates based either on 20, 30, 40 or 50 cells, suggesting that the scored number of cells can be reduced from 50 to 20 without loss of precision of triage dose estimates, at least for homogenous exposure scenarios. Triage categories of clinical significance could be discriminated efficiently using both scoring procedures.

Mutat Res
May, 2013

Automatic scoring of dicentric chromosomes as a tool in large scale radiation accidents.

H. Romm, E. Ainsbury, S. Barnard, L. Barrios, J. F. Barquinero, C. Beinke, M. Deperas, E. Gregoire, A. Koivistoinen, C. Lindholm, J. Moquet, U. Oestreicher, R. Puig, K. Rothkamm, S. Sommer, H. Thierens, V. Vandersickel, A. Vral, A. Wojcik

Mass casualty scenarios of radiation exposure require high throughput biological dosimetry techniques for population triage in order to rapidly identify individuals who require clinical treatment. The manual dicentric assay is a highly suitable technique, but it is also very time consuming and requires well trained scorers. In the framework of the MULTIBIODOSE EU FP7 project, semi-automated dicentric scoring has been established in six European biodosimetry laboratories. Whole blood was irradiated with a Co-60 gamma source resulting in 8 different doses between 0 and 4.5Gy and then shipped to the six participating laboratories. To investigate two different scoring strategies, cell cultures were set up with short term (2-3h) or long term (24h) colcemid treatment. Three classifiers for automatic dicentric detection were applied, two of which were developed specifically for these two different culture techniques. The automation procedure included metaphase finding, capture of cells at high resolution and detection of dicentric candidates. The automatically detected dicentric candidates were then evaluated by a trained human scorer, which led to the term 'semi-automated' being applied to the analysis. The six participating laboratories established at least one semi-automated calibration curve each, using the appropriate classifier for their colcemid treatment time. There was no significant difference between the calibration curves established, regardless of the classifier used. The ratio of false positive to true positive dicentric candidates was dose dependent. The total staff effort required for analysing 150 metaphases using the semi-automated approach was 2min as opposed to 60min for manual scoring of 50 metaphases. Semi-automated dicentric scoring is a useful tool in a large scale radiation accident as it enables high throughput screening of samples for fast triage of potentially exposed individuals. Furthermore, the results from the participating laboratories were comparable which supports networking between laboratories for this assay.

Hong Kong Med J, 19(2), 168–173
April, 2013

Cytogenetic biodosimetry: what it is and how we do it.

K. F. Wong, Lisa L P. Siu, E. Ainsbury, J. Moquet

Dicentric assay is the international gold standard for cytogenetic biodosimetry after radiation exposure, despite being very labour-intensive, time-consuming, and highly expertise-dependent. It involves the identification of centromeres and structure of solid-stained chromosomes and the enumeration of dicentric chromosomes in a large number of first-division metaphases of cultured T lymphocytes. The dicentric yield is used to estimate the radiation exposure dosage according to a statistically derived and predetermined dose-response curve. It can be used for population triage after large-scale accidental over-exposure to ionising radiation or with a view to making clinical decisions for individual patients receiving substantial radiation. In this report, we describe our experience in the establishment of a cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong. This was part of the contingency plan for emergency measures against radiation accidents at nuclear power stations.

Int J Radiat Biol, 89(3), 191–199
March, 2013

The dose-response relationship for dicentric chromosomes and γ-H2AX foci in human peripheral blood lymphocytes: Influence of temperature during exposure and intra- and inter-individual variability of donors

Halina Lisowska, Aneta Wegierek-Ciuk, Anna Banasik-Nowak, Janusz Braziewicz, Maria Wojewodzka, Andrzej Wojcik, Anna Lankoff

<p>Hypothermia during in vitro irradiation of human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) affects the level of chromosome aberrations. The molecular mechanisms of this phenomenon are not fully understood. The aim of our study was to examine the effect of hypothermia on the dose-response relationship for dicentric chromosomes and the level of γ-H2AX (phosphorylated histone H2AX) foci. In addition, the inter- and intra-individual variability was assessed in relation to temperature. PBL were kept at 0.8, 20 and 37°C and then exposed to gamma-rays (from 0-3 Gy). Dicentric chromosomes were scored in first post-treatment mitoses. γ-H2AX foci were scored 15, 30, 60, 120 min and 24 h post irradiation.Our results revealed that the frequency of dicentric chromosomes in cells exposed at 37°C to gamma-rays was higher than after exposure at 0.8 and 20°C. No effect of temperature was observed on the number of γ-H2AX foci as well as on the intra- and inter-individual variations of the dicentric yield and the number of γ-H2AX foci.Temperature at exposure to ionizing radiation has a pronounced effect on the level of cytogenetic damage but not γ-H2AX foci.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3109/09553002.2013.741284

Radiat Res, 178(4), 357–364
October, 2012

Detection of partial-body exposure to ionizing radiation by the automaticdetection of dicentrics.

Aurelie Vaurijoux, Eric Gregoire, Sandrine Roch-Lefevre, Pascale Voisin, Cecile Martin, Philippe Voisin, Laurence Roy, Gaetan Gruel

<p>In accidental exposure to ionizing radiation, it is essential to estimate the dose received by the victims. Currently dicentric scoring is the best biological indicator of exposure. The standard biological dosimetry procedure (500 metaphases scored manually) is suitable for a few dose estimations, but the time needed for analysis can be problematic in the case of a large-scale accident. Recently, a new methodology using automatic detection of dicentrics has greatly decreased the time needed for dose estimation and preserves the accuracy of the estimation. However, the capability to detect nonhomogeneous partial-body exposures is an important advantage of dicentric scoring-based biodosimetry, and this remains to be tested with automatic scoring. Thus we analyzed the results obtained with in vitro blood dilutions and in real cases of accidental exposure (partial- or whole-body exposure) using manual scoring and automatic detection of dicentrics. We confirmed that automatic detection allows threefold quicker dicentric scoring than the manual procedure with similar dose estimations and uncertainty intervals. The results concerning partial-body exposures were particularly promising, and homogeneously exposed samples were correctly distinguished from heterogeneously exposed samples containing 5% to 75% of blood irradiated with 2 Gy. In addition, the results obtained for real accident cases were similar whatever the methodology used. This study demonstrates that automatic detection of dicentrics is a credible alternative for recent and acute cases of whole- and partial-body accidental exposures to ionizing radiation.</p>

Radiat Prot Dosimetry, epub, epub
August, 2012


O. García, M. Di Giorgio, M. B. Vallerga, A. Radl, M. R. Taja, A. Seoane, J. De Luca, M. Stuck Oliveira, P. Valdivia, A. I. Lamadrid, J. E. González, I. Romero, T. Mandina, G. Pantelias, G. Terzoudi, C. Guerrero-Carbajal, C. Arceo Maldonado, M. Espinoza, N. Oliveros, W. Martínez-López, M. V. Di Tomaso, L. Méndez-Acuña, R. Puig, L. Roy, J. F. Barquinero

<p>The bottleneck in data acquisition during biological dosimetry based on a dicentric assay is the need to score dicentrics in a large number of lymphocytes. One way to increase the capacity of a given laboratory is to use the ability of skilled operators from other laboratories. This can be done using image analysis systems and distributing images all around the world. Two exercises were conducted to test the efficiency of such an approach involving 10 laboratories. During the first exercise (E1), the participant laboratories analysed the same images derived from cells exposed to 0.5 and 3 Gy; 100 images were sent to all participants for both doses. Whatever the dose, only about half of the cells were complete with well-spread metaphases suitable for analysis. A coefficient of variation (CV) on the standard deviation of ?15 \% was obtained for both doses. The trueness was better for 3 Gy (0.6 %) than for 0.5 Gy (37.8 %). The number of estimated doses classified as satisfactory according to the z-score was 3 at 0.5 Gy and 8 at 3 Gy for 10 dose estimations. In the second exercise, an emergency situation was tested, each laboratory was required to score a different set of 50 images in 2 d extracted from 500 downloaded images derived from cells exposed to 0.5 Gy. Then the remaining 450 images had to be scored within a week. Using 50 different images, the CV on the estimated doses (79.2 %) was not as good as in E1, probably associated to a lower number of cells analysed (50 vs. 100) or from the fact that laboratories analysed a different set of images. The trueness for the dose was better after scoring 500 cells (22.5 %) than after 50 cells (26.8 %). For the 10 dose estimations, the number of doses classified as satisfactory according to the z-score was 9, for both 50 and 500 cells. Overall, the results obtained support the feasibility of networking using electronically transmitted images. However, before its implementation some issues should be elucidated, such as the number and resolution of the images to be sent, and the harmonisation of the scoring criteria. Additionally, a global website able to be used for the different regional networks, like Share Points, will be desirable to facilitate worldwide communication.</p>