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1 August 2002 Pathology Effects at Radiation Doses below those Causing Increased Mortality
Bruce A. Carnes, Natalia Gavrilova, Douglas Grahn
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Abstract

Carnes, B. A., Gavrilova, N. and Grahn, D. Pathology Effects at Radiation Doses below those Causing Increased Mortality. Radiat. Res. 158, 187–194 (2002).

Mortality data from experiments conducted at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) on the long-term effects of external whole-body irradiation on B6CF1 mice were used to investigate radiation-induced effects at intermediate doses of 60Co γ rays or fission-spectrum neutrons either delivered as a single exposure or protracted over 60 once-weekly exposures. Kaplan-Meier analyses were used to identify the lowest dose in the ANL data (within radiation quality, pattern of exposure, and sex) at which radiation-induced mortality caused by primary tumors could be detected (approximately 1–2 Gy for γ rays and 10–15 cGy for neutrons). Doses at and below these levels were then examined for radiation-induced shifts in the spectrum of pathology detected at death. To do this, specific pathology events were pooled into larger assemblages based on whether they were cancer, cardiovascular disease or non-neoplastic diseases detected within the lungs and pleura, liver and biliary tract, reproductive organs, or urinary tract. Cancer and cardiovascular disease were further subdivided into categories based on whether they caused death, contributed to death, or were simply observed at death. Counts of how often events falling within each of these combined pathology categories occurred within a mouse were then used as predictor variables in logistic regression to determine whether irradiated mice could be distinguished from control mice. Increased pathology burdens were detected in irradiated mice at doses lower than those causing detectable shifts in mortality—22 cGy for γ rays and 2 cGy for neutrons. These findings suggest that (1) models based on mortality data alone may underestimate radiation effects, (2) radiation may have adverse health consequences (i.e. elevated health risks) even when mortality risks are not detected, and (3) radiation-induced pathologies other than cancer do occur, and they involve multiple organ systems.

Bruce A. Carnes, Natalia Gavrilova, and Douglas Grahn "Pathology Effects at Radiation Doses below those Causing Increased Mortality," Radiation Research 158(2), 187-194, (1 August 2002). https://doi.org/10.1667/0033-7587(2002)158[0187:PEARDB]2.0.CO;2
Received: 5 October 2001; Accepted: 1 April 2002; Published: 1 August 2002
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