Ainsbury, E. A., Livingston, G. K., Abbott, M. G., Moquet, J. E., Hone, P. A., Jenkins, M. S., Christensen, D. M., Lloyd, D. C. and Rothkamm, K. Interlaboratory Variation in Scoring Dicentric Chromosomes in a Case of Partial-Body X-Ray Exposure: Implications for Biodosimetry Networking and Cytogenetic “Triage Mode” Scoring.
The international radiation biodosimetry community has recently been engaged in activities focused on establishing cooperative networks for biodosimetric triage for radiation emergency scenarios involving mass casualties. To this end, there have been several recent publications in the literature regarding the potential for shared scoring in such an accident or incident. We present details from a medical irradiation case where two independently validated laboratories found very different yields of dicentric chromosome aberrations. The potential reasons for this disparity are discussed, and the actual reason is identified as being the partial-body nature of the radiation exposure combined with differing criteria for metaphase selection. In the context of the recent networking activity, this report is intended to highlight the fact that shared scoring may produce inconsistencies and that further validation of the scoring protocols and experimental techniques may be required before the networks are prepared to deal satisfactorily with a radiological or nuclear emergency. Also, the findings presented here clearly demonstrate the limitations of the dicentric assay for estimating radiation doses after partial-body exposures and bring into question the usefulness of rapid “triage mode” scoring in such exposure scenarios.