The dicentric chromosome assay (DCA) is the gold-standard assay for accurately estimating unknown radiological doses to individuals following radiological or nuclear accidents. However in a mass-casualty scenario, this assay is not well suited for providing timely dose estimates due to its time- and expertise-intensive nature. In Canada, two approaches are being developed in an attempt to increase triage-quality biological dosimetry throughput. These are 1) increasing the number of trained personnel capable of conducting the DCA, and 2) evaluating alternative biodosimetry approaches or DCA variations. In a recent exercise, a new scoring technique (termed DCA QuickScan) was evaluated as an alternative rapid-scoring approach. Triage-quality conventional DCA and DCA QuickScan analysis were based upon scoring a minimum of 50 metaphase cells or 30 dicentrics by 9-15 scorers across four laboratories. Dose estimates for the conventional DCA were found to be within 0.5 Gy of the actual dose for 83% of the unknown samples, while DCA QuickScan dose estimates were within 0.5 Gy for 80% of the samples. Of the dose estimates falling 0.5 Gy or more outside the actual dose, the majority were dose over-estimates. It was concluded that the DCA QuickScan approach can provide critical dose information at a much faster rate than the conventional DCA without sacrificing accuracy. Future studies will further evaluate the accuracy of the DCA QuickScan method.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Accidents, nuclear, Chromosome aberrations, Cytogenetics, Emergencies, radiological
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1097/HP.0b013e3181aba9c7
Journal Health Physics
Citation
Flegal, F.N. (F. N.), Devantier, Y. (Y.), McNamee, J.P. (J. P.), & Wilkins, R.C. (2010). Quickscan dicentric chromosome analysis for radiation biodosimetry. Health Physics, 98(2), 276–281. doi:10.1097/HP.0b013e3181aba9c7