Population exposure to diagnostic and therapeutic ionising radiation is likely to increase worldwide, and this has raised concerns about the stochastic effects of low doses of radiation exposure. The present study was aimed to study the incidence of Chromosomal Aberrations (CAs) in patients exposed to low doses of X-rays during diagnostic interventional radiological procedures. Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 11 individuals who had received low doses of X-rays during cerebral angiography, and DNA damage was measured by the formation of micronuclei (MN), CAs and comet assay. The results show that the frequency of DNA damage, scored as tail length in comets, MN and CAs, increased significantly (P < 0.01) in the samples collected after exposure (2 h and 24 h) when compared with those prior to exposure. However, the observed DNA damage was reduced at 24 h post exposure when compared with those at 2 h. This suggests that the CAs may be eliminated upon cell division, and it is only in rare cases that the accumulation of CAs may pose a risk for stochastic effects. Furthermore, the induced aberration frequency showed an inter-individual variation and repair ability when the cell cycle progressed.
Keywords: chromosomal aberrations, micronucleus, X-rays, cerebral angiography, patient exposure, low radiation, DNA damage, radiology