To detect the incidence and persistence of potential chromosome damage induced by iodine-131 therapy, we applied the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay to peripheral blood lymphocytes from hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer patients treated with 131I. Two groups of patients were evaluated in a longitudinal study; one group was composed of 47 hyperthyroid patients and the other of 39 thyroid cancer patients. In the hyperthyroidism group, the micronuclei frequency was determined before 131I therapy and 1 week, 1 month and 3 months after it. Furthermore, an additional sample was taken from a subgroup of 17 hyperthyroidism patients 6 months after treatment. In the thyroid cancer group, the analysis was also conducted over time, and four samples were studied: before treatment and 1 week, 6 months and 1 year later. Simultaneously, a cross-sectional study was performed with 70 control subjects and 54 thyroid cancer patients who had received the last therapeutic dose 1-6 years before the present study. In the hyperthyroidism group a significant increase in the micronuclei average was found over time. In the sample obtained 6 months after therapy, the micronuclei mean frequency was practically the same as in the sample taken 3 months before. In the thyroid cancer group a twofold increase in the frequency of micronuclei was seen 1 week after therapy. Although this value decreased across time, the micronuclei frequency obtained 1 year after 131I therapy remained higher than the value found before it. Concerning the data from the cross-sectional study, a significant increase in the frequency of micronuclei was detected in the subgroup of thyroid cancer patients treated between 1 and 3 years before the current study. These results indicate that exposure to 131I therapy induces chromosome damage in peripheral lymphocytes and that the cytokinesis- block micronucleus assay is sensitive enough to detect the genetic damage by exposure to sufficiently high levels of radiation from internal radioactive sources.
|Journal||European Journal of Nuclear Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 1999|
- Chromosome damage
- Iodine-131-sodium iodide
- Micronucleus assay
- Thyroid cancer