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Unstable chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei analyses in the biomonitoring of workers occupationally exposed to ionising radiation

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The quantification of unstable chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei in peripheral blood lymphocytes is a method commonly used in biodosimetry by cytogenetic analysis, especially when physical dosimetry cannot be performed. In this context, the aim of this research was to compare these methods in the biomonitoring of health professionals occupationally exposed to ionising radiation. In parallel, the C-banding technique was applied to confirm the presence of unstable chromosomal aberrations (dicentrics and rings). For this, samples of peripheral blood from health professionals of three hospitals (Recife – Brazil) were collected and lymphocyte cultures were carried out based on classical cytogenetic techniques. The number of cells scored per subject was the same (1000) for each assay. Among the individuals, those who do not usually wear a lead apron had higher frequencies of unstable chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei than the ones who carefully observe the radioprotection rules.

Keywords: biomonitoring, chromosome aberrations, cytogenetic analysis, micronuclei, worker exposure, ionising radiation, occupational health, low radiation, peripheral blood lymphocytes, biodosimetry, radioprotection rules, radiation protection

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