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Chromosomal aberrations in peripheral lymphocytes of patients treated with radium-224 for ankylosing spondylitis

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The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo frequency of chromosomal aberrations (primarily dicentric chromosomes and chromatid breaks) potentially induced by 224Ra -radiation in peripheral lymphocytes. The study was designed to serve as a cytogenetic analysis along with the therapeutic procedure of ankylosing spondylitis patients who were undergoing a treatment with 224Ra-chloride. The total administered activity was 10 MBq, and the treatment followed a schedule of 10 i.v. injections per week, each with a dose of 1 MBq of 224Ra. The calculation of absorbed doses delivered to the blood used the models suggested by the ICRP and yielded a value of 4.7 mGy/MBq. The frequency of chromosomal aberrations observed during the course of therapy was related to the blood dose. The frequency of dicentric chromosomes induced in vivo was found to agree well with the corresponding value of dicentrics induced in vitro. However—given that peripheral lymphocytes are in the cell cycles G0 stage—an unexpected increase with dose in the yield of chromatid breaks was observed, with about 95% of them occurring in cells without any other chromosome-type aberrations. Reasons for the production of chromatid breaks are discussed.

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