Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 1310–1317

γ-H2AX foci are increased in lymphocytes in vivo in young children 1 h after very low-dose X-irradiation: a pilot study

  • Brunhild M. Halm
  • Adrian A. Franke
  • Jennifer F. Lai
  • Helen C. Turner
  • David J. Brenner
  • Vatche M. Zohrabian
  • Robert DiMauro
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00247-014-2983-3

Cite this article as:
Halm, B.M., Franke, A.A., Lai, J.F. et al. Pediatr Radiol (2014) 44: 1310. doi:10.1007/s00247-014-2983-3

Abstract

Background

Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging modality involving ionizing radiation. The presence of γ-H2AX foci after low to moderate ionizing radiation exposure has been demonstrated; however it is unknown whether very low ionizing radiation exposure doses from CT exams can induce γ-H2AX formation in vivo in young children.

Objective

To test whether very low ionizing radiation doses from CT exams can induce lymphocytic γ-H2AX foci (phosphorylated histones used as a marker of DNA damage) formation in vivo in young children.

Materials and methods

Parents of participating children signed a consent form. Blood samples from three children (ages 3–21 months) undergoing CT exams involving very low blood ionizing radiation exposure doses (blood doses of 0.22–1.22 mGy) were collected immediately before and 1 h post CT exams. Isolated lymphocytes were quantified for γ-H2AX foci by a technician blinded to the radiation status and dose of the patients. Paired t-tests and regression analyses were performed with significance levels set at P < 0.05.

Results

We observed a dose-dependent increase in γ-H2AX foci post-CT exams (P = 0.046) among the three children. Ionizing radiation exposure doses led to a linear increase of foci per cell in post-CT samples (102% between lowest and highest dose).

Conclusion

We found a significant induction of γ-H2AX foci in lymphocytes from post-CT samples of three very young children. When possible, CT exams should be limited or avoided by possibly applying non-ionizing radiation exposure techniques such as US or MRI.

Keywords

Children Radiation dose Lymphocytic γ-H2AX foci formation Computed tomography 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brunhild M. Halm
    • 1
  • Adrian A. Franke
    • 1
  • Jennifer F. Lai
    • 1
  • Helen C. Turner
    • 2
  • David J. Brenner
    • 2
  • Vatche M. Zohrabian
    • 2
  • Robert DiMauro
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Hawaii Cancer CenterHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Center for Radiological ResearchColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and ChildrenHonoluluUSA

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