Informative studies of cancer risks associated with medical radiation are difficult to conduct owing to low radiation doses, poor recall of diagnostic X rays, and long intervals before cancers occur. Chromosome aberrations have been associated with increased cancer risk and translocations are a known radiation biomarker. Seventy-nine U.S. radiologic technologists were selected for blood collection, and translocations were enumerated by whole chromosome painting. We developed a dose score to the red bone marrow for medical radiation exposure from X-ray examinations reported by the technologists that they received as patients. Using Poisson regression, we analyzed translocations in relation to the dose scores. Each dose score unit approximated 1 mGy. The estimated mean cumulative red bone marrow radiation dose score was 42 (range 1–265). After adjustment for age, occupational radiation, and radiotherapy for benign conditions, translocation frequencies significantly increased with increasing red bone marrow dose score with an estimate of 0.007 translocations per 100 CEs per score unit (95% CI, 0.002 to 0.013; P = 0.01). Chromosome damage has been linked with elevated cancer risk, and we found that cumulative radiation exposure from medical X-ray examinations was associated with increased numbers of chromosome translocations.
Controversy regarding potential health risks from increased use of medical diagnostic radiologic examinations has come to public attention. We evaluated whether chromosome damage, specifically translocations, which are a potentially intermediate biomarker for cancer risk, was increased after exposure to diagnostic X-rays, with particular interest in the ionizing radiation dose–response below the level of approximately 50 mGy. Chromosome translocation frequency data from three separately conducted occupational studies of ionizing radiation were pooled together. Studies 1 and 2 included 79 and 150 medical radiologic technologists, respectively, and study 3 included 83 airline pilots and 50 university faculty members (total = 155 women and 207 men; mean age = 62 years, range 34–90). Information on personal history of radiographic examinations was collected from a detailed questionnaire. We computed a cumulative red bone marrow (RBM) dose score based on the numbers and types of X-ray examinations reported with 1 unit approximating 1 mGy. Poisson regression analyses were adjusted for age and laboratory method. Mean RBM dose scores were 49, 42, and 11 for Studies 1–3, respectively (overall mean = 33.5, range 0–303). Translocation frequencies significantly increased with increasing dose score (P < 0.001). Restricting the analysis to the lowest dose scores of under 50 did not materially change these results. We conclude that chromosome damage is associated with low levels of radiation exposure from diagnostic X-ray examinations, including dose scores of approximately 50 and lower, suggesting the possibility of long-term adverse health effects.
Chromosome translocations are an established biomarker of cumulative exposure to external ionising radiation. Airline pilots are exposed to cosmic ionising radiation, but few flight crew studies have examined translocations in relation to flight experience.
We determined the frequency of translocations in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of 83 airline pilots and 50 comparison subjects (mean age 47 and 46 years, respectively). Translocations were scored in an average of 1039 cell equivalents (CE) per subject using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) whole chromo-some painting and expressed per 100 CE. Negative binomial regression models were used to assess the relationship between translocation frequency and exposure status and flight years, adjusting for age, diagnostic x ray procedures, and military flying.
There was no significant difference in the adjusted mean translocation frequency of pilots and comparison subjects (0.37 (SE 0.04) vs 0.38 (SE 0.06) translocations/100 CE, respectively). However, among pilots, the adjusted translocation frequency was significantly associated with flight years (p = 0.01) with rate ratios of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.11) and 1.81 (95% CI 1.16 to 2.82) for a 1- and 10-year incremental increase in flight years, respectively. The adjusted rate ratio for pilots in the highest compared to the lowest quartile of flight years was 2.59 (95% CI 1.26 to 5.33).
This data suggests that pilots with long-term flying experience may be exposed to biologically significant doses of ionising radiation. Epidemiological studies with longer follow-up of larger cohorts of pilots with a wide range of radiation exposure levels are needed to clarify the relationship between cosmic radiation exposure and cancer risk.
Ionizing radiation-associated breast cancer risk appears to be modified by timing of reproductive events such as age at radiation exposure, parity, age at first live birth, and age at menopause. However, potential breast cancer risk modification of low- to moderate radiation dose by polymorphic estrogen metabolism-related gene variants has not been routinely investigated. We assessed breast cancer risk of 12 candidate variants in 12 genes involved in steroid metabolism, catabolism, binding, or receptor functions in a study of 859 cases and 1083 controls within the US Radiologic Technologists (USRT) cohort. Using cumulative breast dose estimates from a detailed assessment of occupational and personal diagnostic ionizing radiation exposure, we investigated the joint effects of genotype on the risk of breast cancer. In multivariate analyses, we observed a significantly decreased risk of breast cancer associated with the CYP3A4 M445T minor allele (rs4986910, OR=0.3; 95% CI 0.1–0.9). We found a borderline increased breast cancer risk with having both minor alleles of CYP1B1 V432L (rs1056836, CC vs. GG, OR=1.2; 95% CI 0.9–1.6). Assuming a recessive model, the minor allele of CYP1B1 V432L significantly increased the dose-response relationship between personal diagnostic x-ray exposure and breast cancer risk, adjusted for cumulative occupational radiation dose (pinteraction=0.03) and had a similar joint effect for cumulative occupational radiation dose adjusted for personal diagnostic x-ray exposure (pinteraction=0.06). We found suggestive evidence that common variants in selected estrogen metabolizing genes may modify the association between ionizing radiation exposure and breast cancer risk.
With the exponential increase in minimally invasive fluoroscopically guided interventional radiologic procedures, concern has increased about the health effects on staff and patients of radiation exposure from these procedures. There has been no systematic epidemiologic investigation to quantify serious disease risks or mortality. To quantify all-cause, circulatory system disease and cancer mortality risks in U.S. radiologic technologists who work with interventional radiographic procedures, we evaluated mortality risks in a nationwide cohort of 88,766 U.S. radiologic technologists (77% female) who completed a self-administered questionnaire during 1994–998 and were followed through 31 December 2003. We obtained information on work experience, types of procedures (including fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures), and protective measures plus medical, family cancer history, lifestyle, and reproductive information. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to compute relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Between completion of the questionnaire and the end of follow-up, there were 3,581 deaths, including 1,209 from malignancies and 979 from circulatory system diseases. Compared to radiologic technologists who never or rarely performed or assisted with fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures, all-cause mortality risks were not increased among those working on such procedures daily. Similarly, there was no increased risk of mortality resulting from all circulatory system diseases combined, all cancers combined, or female breast cancer among technologists who daily performed or assisted with fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures. Based on small numbers of deaths (n=151), there were non-significant excesses (40%–0%) in mortality from cerebrovascular disease among technologists ever working with these procedures. The absence of significantly elevated mortality risks in radiologic technologists reporting the highest frequency of interventional radiography procedures must be interpreted cautiously in light of the small number of deaths during the relatively short follow-up. The present study cannot rule out increased risks of cerebrovascular disease, specific cancers, and diseases with low case-fatality rates or a long latency period preceding death.
Radiologic technologists; Interventional radiography; Occupational radiation exposure; Mortality
The study aim was to determine the risk of cataract among radiologic technologists with respect to occupational and nonoccupational exposures to ionizing radiation and to personal characteristics. A prospective cohort of 35,705 cataract-free US radiologic technologists aged 24–44 years was followed for nearly 20 years (1983–2004) by using two follow-up questionnaires. During the study period, 2,382 cataracts and 647 cataract extractions were reported. Cigarette smoking for ≥5 pack-years; body mass index of ≥25 kg/m2; and history of diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or arthritis at baseline were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) associated with increased risk of cataract. In multivariate models, self-report of ≥3 x-rays to the face/neck was associated with a hazard ratio of cataract of 1.25 (95% confidence interval: 1.06, 1.47). For workers in the highest category (mean, 60 mGy) versus lowest category (mean, 5 mGy) of occupational dose to the lens of the eye, the adjusted hazard ratio of cataract was 1.18 (95% confidence interval: 0.99, 1.40). Findings challenge the National Council on Radiation Protection and International Commission on Radiological Protection assumptions that the lowest cumulative ionizing radiation dose to the lens of the eye that can produce a progressive cataract is approximately 2 Gy, and they support the hypothesis that the lowest cataractogenic dose in humans is substantially less than previously thought.
cataract; radiation; technology, radiologic; x-rays
Ionizing radiation, an established breast cancer risk factor, has been shown to induce oxidative damage and chronic inflammation. Polymorphic variation in oxidative stress and inflammatory-mediated pathway genes may modify radiation-related breast cancer risk.
We estimated breast cancer risk for 28 common variants in 16 candidate genes involved in these pathways among 859 breast cancer cases and 1,083 controls nested within the US Radiologic Technologists cohort. We estimated associations between occupational and personal diagnostic radiation exposures with breast cancer by modeling the odds ratio (OR) as a linear function in logistic regression models and assessed heterogeneity of the dose–response across genotypes.
There was suggestive evidence of an interaction between the rs5277 variant in PTGS2 and radiation-related breast cancer risk. The excess OR (EOR)/Gy from occupational radiation exposure = 5.5 (95%CI 1.2–12.5) for the GG genotype versus EOR/Gy < 0 (95%CI < 0–3.8) and EOR/Gy < 0 (95%CI < 0–14.8) for the GC and CC genotypes, respectively, (pinteraction = 0.04). The association between radiation and breast cancer was not modified by other SNPs examined.
This study suggests that variation in PTGS2 may modify the breast cancer risk from occupational radiation exposure, but replication in other populations is needed to confirm this result.
PTGS2; COX-2; Inflammation; Breast cancer; Radiation
Exposures to high doses of irradiation, to chemotherapy, benzene, petroleum products, paints, embalming fluids, ethylene oxide, herbicides, pesticides, and smoking have been associated with an increased risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Although there in no epidemiological evidence of relation between X-ray developer, fixer and replenisher liquids and AML, these included glutaraldehyde which has weakly associated with lymphocytic leukemia in rats and hydroquinone has been increasingly implicated in producing leukemia, causing DNA and chromosomal damage, inhibits topo-isomerase II, alter hematopoiesis and inhibit apoptosis of neoplastic cells.
Two white females (A and B) hired in 1985 as medical radiation technologists in a primary care center, in Greece. In July 2001, woman A, 38-years-old, was diagnosed as having acute monocytic leukaemia (FAB M5). The patient did not respond to therapy and died threeweeks later. In August 2001, woman B, 35-year-old, was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (FAB M3). Since discharge, she is in continuous complete remission. Both women were non smokers without any medical history. Shortly after these incidents official inspectors and experts inspected workplace, examined equipment, archives of repairs, notes, interviewed and monitored employees. They concluded that shielding was inadequate for balcony's door but personal monitoring did not show any exceeding of TLV of 20 mSv yearly and cytogenetics analysis did not reveal findings considered to be characteristics of ionizing exposure. Equipment for developing photos had a long list of repairs, mainly leakages of liquids and increases of temperature. On several occasions the floor has been flooded especially during 1987–1993 and 1997–2001. Inspection confirmed a complete lack of ventilation and many spoiled medical x-ray films. Employees reported that an "osmic" level was continuously evident and frequently developed symptoms of respiratory irritation and dizziness.
The findings support the hypothesis that the specific AML cases might have originated from exposure to chemicals, especially hydroquinone and/or glutaraldehyde. The report also emphasises the crucial role of inspection of facilities and enforcement of compliance with regulations in order to prevent similar incidents.
As genome-wide association studies of breast cancer are replicating findings and refinement studies are narrowing the signal location, additional efforts are necessary to elucidate the underlying functional relationships. One approach is to evaluate variation in risk by genotype based on known breast carcinogens, such as ionizing radiation. Given the public health concerns associated with recent increases in medical radiation exposure, this approach may also identify potentially susceptible sub-populations. We examined interaction between 27 newly identified breast cancer risk alleles (identified within the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility and the Breast Cancer Association Consortium genome-wide association studies) and occupational and medical diagnostic radiation exposure among 859 cases and 1083 controls nested within the United States Radiologic Technologists cohort. We did not find significant variation in the radiation-related breast cancer risk for the variant in RAD51L1 (rs10483813) on 14q24.1 as we had hypothesized. In exploratory analyses, we found that the radiation-associated breast cancer risk varied significantly by linked markers in 5p12 (rs930395, rs10941679, rs2067980, and rs4415084) in the mitochondrial ribosomal protein S30 (MRPS30) gene (pinteraction=0.04). Chance, however, may explain these findings, and as such, these results need to be confirmed in other populations with low to moderate levels of radiation exposure. Even though a complete understanding by which these variants may increase breast cancer risk remains elusive, this approach may yield clues for further investigation.
Background: There are limited data on risks of haematopoietic malignancies associated with protracted low-to-moderate dose radiation.
Aims: To contribute the first incidence risk estimates for haematopoietic malignancies in relation to work history, procedures, practices, and protective measures in a large population of mostly female medical radiation workers.
Methods: The investigators followed up 71 894 (77.9% female) US radiologic technologists, first certified during 1926–80, from completion of a baseline questionnaire (1983–89) to return of a second questionnaire (1994–98), diagnosis of a first cancer, death, or 31 August 1998 (731 306 person-years), whichever occurred first. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to compute risks.
Results: Relative risks (RR) for leukaemias other than chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (non-CLL, 41 cases) were increased among technologists working five or more years before 1950 (RR = 6.6, 95% CI 1.0 to 41.9, based on seven cases) or holding patients 50 or more times for x ray examination (RR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.3 to 5.4). Risks of non-CLL leukaemias were not significantly related to the number of years subjects worked in more recent periods, the year or age first worked, the total years worked, specific procedures or equipment used, or personal radiotherapy. Working as a radiologic technologist was not significantly linked with risk of multiple myeloma (28 cases), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (118 cases), Hodgkin's lymphoma (31 cases), or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (23 cases).
Conclusion: Similar to results for single acute dose and fractionated high dose radiation exposures, there was increased risk for non-CLL leukaemias decades after initial protracted radiation exposure that likely cumulated to low-to-moderate doses.
Patient awareness and concern regarding the potential health risks from ionizing radiation have peaked recently (Coakley et al., 2011) following widespread press and media coverage of the projected cancer risks from the increasing use of computed tomography (CT) (Berrington et al., 2007). The typical young and educated patient with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may in particular be conscious of his/her exposure to ionising radiation as a result of diagnostic imaging. Cumulative effective doses (CEDs) in patients with IBD have been reported as being high and are rising, primarily due to the more widespread and repeated use of CT (Desmond et al., 2008). Radiologists, technologists, and referring physicians have a responsibility to firstly counsel their patients accurately regarding the actual risks of ionizing radiation exposure; secondly to limit the use of those imaging modalities which involve ionising radiation to clinical situations where they are likely to change management; thirdly to ensure that a diagnostic quality imaging examination is acquired with lowest possible radiation exposure. In this paper, we synopsize available evidence related to radiation exposure and risk and we report advances in low-dose CT technology and examine the role for alternative imaging modalities such as ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging which avoid radiation exposure.
We exposed human peripheral lymphocytes in vitro to 0.3 and 1 Gy of 60Co gamma rays to evaluate whether the ability and sensitivity to detect chromosomal aberrations by chromosome painting is independent or not to the specific paint probes. To detect structural aberrations (translocations), we painted chromosome spreads simultaneously with two whole-chromosome libraries for chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 13, 16, and 18. To compare the rate of chromosome translocations detected by the different pairs of chromosomes, data were normalized according to the fraction of genome painted and evaluated by unconditional logistic regression. Our results show that any combination of paint probes can be used to score induced chromosomal aberrations. We observed that the amounts of translocations are dose dependent and quite homogeneous within each dose of radiation, independently of chromosomes painted. However, the use of small chromosome probes is not recommended because of the high number of cells to be analyzed due to the small amount of genome painted and because it is more difficult to detect translocations in small chromosomes.
Repeats are indicators for the quality-imaging manager to schedule additional training and to be used as a basis for dialog with the reading radiologists to improve the service and quality to patients and referring physicians. Through the thoughtful application of software and networking, dose management, X-ray usage, and repeat analysis data can be made available centrally. This provides clinically useful technologist-centric results greatly benefiting an enterprise. This study tracked a radiology department’s use of a digital X-ray dashboard software application. It was discovered that 80% of the exams were performed by only 21% of the technologists and that the technologist with the highest throughput had a personal repeat rate of 6.5% compared to the department average of 7.6%. This study indicated that useful information could be derived and used as a basis for improving the radiology department’s operations and in maintaining high quality standards.
Workflow; radiology management; quality control; quality management; repeat analysis; productivity; dashboard; computed radiography; digital radiography; dose
In keeping with the increasing utilization of CT examinations, the greater concern about radiation hazards from examinations has been addressed. In this regard, CT radiation dose optimization has been given a great deal of attention by radiologists, referring physicians, technologists, and physicists. Dose-saving strategies are continuously evolving in terms of imaging techniques as well as dose management. Consequently, regular updates of this issue are necessary especially for radiologists who play a pivotal role in this activity. This review article will provide an update on how we can optimize CT dose in order to maximize the benefit-to-risk ratio of this clinically useful diagnostic imaging method.
CT radiation dose; Low dose CT; Radiation dose reduction; MDCT
Digital radiography (DR) has recently emerged as an attractive alternative to computed radiography (CR) for the acquisition of general radiographic studies in a digital environment. It offers the possibility of improved spatial and contrast resoltuion, decreased radiation dose due to improved effieincy of detection of x-ray photons, and perhaps most improtantly, holds out the promise of increased technologist productivity. To achieve maximum efficiency, DR must be completely integrated into existing information systems, including the hospital and radiology information systems (HIS/RIS) and, when present, the picture archival and communication system (PACS). The early experience with the integration of DR at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) has identified several challenges that exist to the successful integration of DR. DR has only recently been defined as a separate Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) modality and images obtained will, at first, be listed under the category of CR. Matrix sizes with some DR products on the market exceed the current size limitations of some PACS. The patient throughput may be substantially greater with DR than with CR, and this in combination with the larger size of image files may result in greater demands for network and computer performance in the process of communication with the HIS/RIS and PACS. Additionally, in a hybrid department using both CR and DR, new rules must be defined for prefetching and display of general radiographic studies to permit these examinations to be retrieved and compared together. Advanced features that are planned for DR systems, such as dualenergy subtraction, tomosynthesis, and temporal subtraction, will likely require additional workstation tools beyond those currently available for CR.
We examined the risk of childhood cancer (<20 years) among 105 950 offspring born in 1921–1984 to US radiologic technologist (USRT) cohort members. Parental occupational in utero and preconception ionising radiation (IR) testis or ovary doses were estimated from work history data, badge dose data, and literature doses (the latter doses before 1960). Female and male RTs reported a total of 111 and 34 haematopoietic malignancies and 115 and 34 solid tumours, respectively, in their offspring. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Leukaemia (n=63) and solid tumours (n=115) in offspring were not associated with maternal in utero or preconception radiation exposure. Risks for lymphoma (n=44) in those with estimated doses of <0.2, 0.2–1.0, and >1.0 mGy vs no exposure were non-significantly elevated with HRs of 2.3, 1.8, and 2.7. Paternal preconception exposure to estimated cumulative doses above the 95th percentile (⩾82 mGy, n=6 cases) was associated with a non-significant risk of childhood cancer of 1.8 (95% CI 0.7–4.6). In conclusion, we found no convincing evidence of an increased risk of childhood cancer in the offspring of RTs in association with parental occupational radiation exposure.
radiation; in utero; preconception; malignancy; aetiology; risk factors
The pKZ1 mouse chromosomal inversion assay is the only assay that has detected modulation of a mutagenic endpoint after single whole body X-irradiation with doses lower than 1 mGy. A non-linear dose response for chromosomal inversion has been observed in spleen and prostate between 0.001 mGy and 10 mGy, with doses between 0.005-0.01 mGy causing an increase in inversions and doses between 1–10 mGy causing a reduction below spontaneous inversion frequency. An adaptive response is a decreased biological effect induced by a low radiation dose. Adaptive responses contradict the linear-no-threshold model of risk estimation. We demonstrated that very low (0.001 mGy, 0.01 mGy, 1 mGy and 10 mGy) doses of X-radiation induced a chromosomal inversion adaptive response as measured by a reduction in the frequency of subsequent high dose (1000 mGy) induced inversions in prostate. These are the lowest X-radiation doses reported to induce an adaptive response for any endpoint. Adaptive response experiments were also performed where the high dose was administered four hours prior to a low dose of 0.01 mGy or 10 mGy In both cases an adaptive response was observed. Identification of the modifying factors involved in the adaptive response may provide candidates for radioprotection.
low dose X-radiation; pKZ1 inversion assay; adaptive response; non-linear dose response
In 2000, the REACH Boston 2010 Breast and Cervical Cancer Coalition conducted a community needs assessment and found several factors that may have contributed to disproportionately high breast and cervical cancer mortality among black women: (a) Focus group participants reported that many women in their communities had limited awareness about risk factors for cancer as well as about screening. (b) Black women experienced barriers to care related to the cultural competence of providers and of institutions. (c) Black women were not receiving adequate follow-up for abnormal mammograms and Pap smears. The Coalition's Community Action Plan to address disparities includes a model primary care service for black women; scholarships to increase the number of black mammogram technologists; primary care provider and radiology technologist training about disparities and cultural competence; and education to increase awareness among black women and to increase leadership and advocacy skills.
Recent epidemiologic studies have suggested that ultraviolet radiation (UV) may protect against non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), but few, if any, have assessed multiple indicators of ambient and personal UV exposure. Using the U.S. Radiologic Technologists study, we examined the association between NHL and self-reported time outdoors in summer, as well as average year-round and seasonal ambient exposures based on satellite estimates for different age periods, and sun susceptibility in participants who had responded to two questionnaires (1994-1998, 2003-2005) and who were cancer-free as of the earlier questionnaire. Using unconditional logistic regression, we estimated the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for 64,103 participants with 137 NHL cases. Self-reported time outdoors in summer was unrelated to risk. Lower risk was somewhat related to higher average year-round and winter ambient exposure for the period closest in time, and prior to, diagnosis (ages 20-39). Relative to 1.0 for the lowest quartile of average year-round ambient UV, the estimated OR for successively higher quartiles was 0.68 (0.42-1.10); 0.82 (0.52-1.29); and 0.64(0.40-1.03), p-trend = 0.06), for this age period. The lower NHL risk associated with higher year-round average and winter ambient UV provides modest additional support for a protective relationship between UV and NHL.
The aim of this study was measurement of the radiation doses received by patients for common radiology examinations in hospitals under control of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran.
Materials and Methods:
Thermoluminescence (lithium fluoride chips, LiF: Mg, Tl) dosimeter was used to measure patient dose for four (chest, posterior-anterior and lateral and skull anterior-posterior, or posterior-anterior and lateral) common radiographic views in six hospitals (seven X-ray machines). The entrance surface dose was measured on 20 randomly patients for each X-ray room.
The maximum (8.85 ± 0.62 mGy) and the minimum (0.62 ± 0.22 mGy) values of ESD was obtained for X-ray machines of Shimadzu and Varian located in Ashrafi-Khomeini-shahr and Kashani hospitals, respectively. As results shows, the values of ESD of skull were higher than that of chest examinations.
The results of this study indicated that ESD measured doses were slightly greater than the ICRP and NRPB reference doses. Efforts should be made to further lower patient doses while securing image quality. In addition, the need to provide relevant education and training to staff in the radiology sections is of utmost importance.
Diagnostic radiology; patient dose; X-ray examinations
The "radiation issue" is the need to consider possible deterministic effects (e.g., skin injuries) and long-term cancer risks due to ionizing radiation in the risk-benefit assessment of diagnostic or therapeutic testing. Although there are currently no data showing that high-dose medical studies have actually increased the incidence of cancer, the "linear-no threshold" model in radioprotection assumes that no safe dose exists; all doses add up in determining cancer risks; and the risk increases linearly with increasing radiation dose. The possibility of deterministic effects should also be considered when skin or lens doses may be over the threshold. Cardiologists have a special mission to avoid unjustified or non-optimized use of radiation, since they are responsible for 45% of the entire cumulative effective dose of 3.0 mSv (similar to the radiological risk of 150 chest x-rays) per head per year to the US population from all medical sources except radiotherapy. In addition, interventional cardiologists have an exposure per head per year two to three times higher than that of radiologists. The most active and experienced interventional cardiologists in high volume cath labs have an annual exposure equivalent to around 5 mSv per head and a professional lifetime attributable to excess cancer risk on the order of magnitude of 1 in 100. Cardiologists are the contemporary radiologists but sometimes imperfectly aware of the radiological dose of the examination they prescribe or practice, which can range from the equivalent of 1-60 mSv around a reference dose average of 10-15 mSv for a percutaneous coronary intervention, a cardiac radiofrequency ablation, a multi-detector coronary angiography, or a myocardial perfusion imaging scintigraphy. A good cardiologist cannot be afraid of life-saving radiation, but must be afraid of radiation unawareness and negligence.
cancer; cardiology; imaging; risk
Genome-wide association studies are discovering relationships between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and breast cancer, but the functions of these SNPs are unknown and environmental exposures are likely to be important. We assessed whether breast cancer risk SNPs interacted with ionizing radiation, a known breast carcinogen, among 859 cases and 1083 controls nested in the United States Radiologic Technologists cohort. Among eleven Breast Cancer Association Consortium risk SNPs, we found that the genotype-associated breast cancer risk varied significantly by radiation dose for rs2107425 in the H19 gene (pinteraction=0.001). H19 is a maternally expressed imprinted mRNA that is closely involved in regulating the IGF2 gene and could exert its influence by this or by some other radiation-related pathway.
Background: Studies of workers at the plutonium production factory in Hanford, WA have led to conflicting conclusions about the role of age at exposure as a modifier of associations between ionising radiation and cancer.
Aims: To evaluate the influence of age at exposure on radiation risk estimates in an updated follow up of Hanford workers.
Methods: A cohort of 26 389 workers hired between 1944 and 1978 was followed through 1994 to ascertain vital status and causes of death. External radiation dose estimates were derived from personal dosimeters. Poisson regression was used to estimate associations between mortality and cumulative external radiation dose at all ages, and in specific age ranges.
Results: A total of 8153 deaths were identified, 2265 of which included cancer as an underlying or contributory cause. Estimates of the excess relative risk per Sievert (ERR/Sv) for cumulative radiation doses at all ages combined were negative for all cause and leukaemia and positive for all cancer and lung cancer. Cumulative doses accrued at ages below 35, 35–44, and 45–54 showed little association with mortality. For cumulative dose accrued at ages 55 and above (10 year lag), the estimated ERR/Sv for all cancers was 3.24 (90% CI: 0.80 to 6.17), primarily due to an association with lung cancer (ERR/Sv: 9.05, 90% CI: 2.96 to 17.92).
Conclusions: Associations between radiation and cancer mortality in this cohort are primarily a function of doses at older ages and deaths from lung cancer. The association of older age radiation exposures and cancer mortality is similar to observations from several other occupational studies.
Detailed data were provided by the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancer OSCC on deaths from childhood cancer in Britain after irradiation of the fetus during diagnostic radiology of the mother. In each age group at death, 0-5, 6-9 and 10-15 years, excess cancer deaths decreased suddenly for births in and after 1958. A major factor was concerted action initiated in 1956 to reduce radiation exposure of fetal gonads for fear of genetic hazards. Dose reduction was achieved during 1957 and early 1958 by reducing the rising rate of obstetric radiography and by virtually abandoning pelvimetry as that had been understood. In the 1970s the rate of X-raying increased again and so did cancer risk but not significantly. Direct evidence that diagnostic X-rays can cause childhood cancer is the similar excess rate per X-ray in twins and singleton births when X-raying rate is 5-6 times higher in twins. In the past a dose-response for cancer in OSCC data based on number of films per X-ray examination was taken to be evidence for causation but dose per film varies with kind of X-ray examination. Fixed values for dose per film were mistakenly assumed by UNSCEAR (1972) and used by it and others when deriving risk co-efficients. In updated OSCC data cancer risk is independent of film number. The odds ratio for childhood cancer deaths after X-raying in birth years 1958-61 (1.23 with 95% confidence intervals CI 1.04-1.48) and the mean fetal whole body dose from obstetric radiography in 1958 (0.6 cGy) can each be derived from nationwide surveys in Britain. The corresponding risk coefficient for irradiation in the third trimester for childhood cancer deaths at ages 0-15 years = 4-5 x 10(-4) per cGy fetal whole body dose (95% CI 0.8-9.5 x 10(-4) per cGy). It is the same for cancer incidence and mortality. A lower risk in bomb survivors exposed in utero is not incompatible since its CI are wide. There is no dependable evidence that radiosensitivity is greater in early pregnancy. A significantly raised cancer rate after diagnostic X-raying supports the hypothesis that carcinogenesis by ionising radiation has no threshold.
Chromosomal aberrations are associated with increased cancer risk in adults. Previously, we demonstrated that stable aberrations involving chromosomes 1-6 in cord blood are associated with prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) measured in air and are disproportionate to genomic content. We now examine whether the association with air PAHs is chromosome-specific and extends to smaller chromosomes.
Using Whole Chromosome Paints for chromosomes 1-6, 11,12,14,19, and a 6q sub-telomere specific probe, we scored 48 cord bloods (1500 metaphases per sample) from newborns monitored prenatally for airborne PAH exposure in the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health cohort. Frequencies of stable aberrations were calculated as incident aberrations per 100 Cell Equivalents scored, and examined for association with airborne PAHs.
Aberrations in chromosome 6 occurred more frequently than predicted by genomic content (p<0.008). Levels of both prenatal airborne PAHs and stable aberration frequency in chromosomes 1-6 decreased to half the levels reported previously in the same cohort (mean PAH decreased from 3.6 to 1.8 ng/m3; mean stable aberration frequency from 0.56 to 0.24, SD=0.19). The mean stable aberration frequency was 0.45 (SD=0.15) in chromosomes 11-19. After adjusting for gender, ethnicity, and household smokers, the mean stable aberration frequency increased with increasing PAH exposure: with a doubling of prenatal PAH exposure, the mean stable aberration frequency for the chromosome1-6 group increased by a factor of 1.49 (95%CI: 0.84, 2.66; p=0.17); for chromosomes 11-19 mean stable aberration frequency increased by 2.00 (95%CI:1.11, 3.62; p=0.02); for chromosome 6 alone, it increased by 3.16 (95%CI: 0.93,10.77; p= 0.06); there was no increase for chromosomes1-5 (p>0.8). Aberrations in chromosomes 11,12,14,19 and 6 were associated with prenatal exposure to PAHs in air, even at lower levels of PAH in air. The observed chromosome-specific effects of prenatal airborne PAHs raise concern about potential cancer risk.
Chromosomal aberrations; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Cohort study; Prenatal