Int J Radiat Biol, 86(1), 2–11
January, 2010

Automated micronucleus (MN) scoring for population triage in caseof large scale radiation events.

Petra Willems, Liezel August, Jacobus Slabbert, Horst Romm, Ursula Oestreicher, Hubert Thierens, Anne Vral

PURPOSE: In case of a large-scale radiation accident when hundreds of people may be exposed, it is important to distinguish the severely exposed individuals (> or =1 gray), who require early medical treatment, from those less exposed. The aim of our study was to develop a quick population triage method based on automated micronucleus (MN) scoring. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using the MN software module developed by MetaSystems specifically for the Metafer4 platform, about 60 blood samples can be scored in one day. Standard dose response curves were determined for manual and automated MN scoring. RESULTS: The automated MN assay results were closely correlated with MN yields obtained with the manual procedure. A dose of 1 Gy can be estimated with an uncertainty of 0.2 Gy. Corrections for false positives and false negatives by visual inspection of the image gallery did not result in an improved accuracy or reproducibility. To test the automated MN assay in a multicenter setting, an inter-laboratory comparison was performed whereby irradiated blood samples were processed in Ghent University (Belgium) and BfS (Bundesamt fuer Strahlenschutz; Germany). Both laboratories obtained comparable results. CONCLUSIONS: These results confirm the efficacy of the automated MN assay for fast population triage in a multicenter setting, in the case of large radiation accidents.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3109/09553000903264481

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