The study was undertaken to establish a dose calibration curve for a practical PCC ring assay and to apply it in a simulated mass casualty accident. The PCC assay was validated against the conventional dicentric assay. A linear relationship was established for PCC rings after 60Co γ irradiation with doses up to 20 Gy. In the simulated accident experiment, 62 blood samples were analyzed with both the PCC ring assay and the conventional dicentric assay, applying a triage approach. Samples received various uniform and non-uniform (10–40% partial-body) irradiations up to doses of 13 Gy. The results indicated that both assays yielded good dose estimates for the whole-body exposure scenario, although in the lower-dose range (0–6 Gy) dicentric scoring resulted in more accurate whole-body estimates, whereas PCC rings were better in the high-dose range (>6 Gy). Neither assay was successful in identifying partial-body exposures, most likely due to the low numbers of cells scored in the triage mode. In conclusion, the study confirmed that the PCC ring assay is suitable for use as a biodosimeter after whole-body exposure to high doses of radiation. However, there are limitations for its use in the triage of people exposed to high, partial-body doses.
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