Cytogenetic effects of radioiodine therapy: a 20-year follow-up study

Gordon K. Livingston, Igor K. Khvostunov, Eric Gregoire, Joan Francesc Barquinero, Lin Shi, Satoshi Tashiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. The purpose of this study was to compare cytogenetic data in a patient before and after treatment with radioiodine to evaluate the assays in the context of biological dosimetry. We studied a 34-year-old male patient who underwent a total thyroidectomy followed by ablation therapy with 131I (19.28 GBq) for a papillary thyroid carcinoma. The patient provided blood samples before treatment and then serial samples at monthly intervals during the first year period and quarterly intervals for 5 years and finally 20 years after treatment. A micronucleus assay, dicentric assay, FISH method and G-banding were used to detect and measure DNA damage in circulating peripheral blood lymphocytes of the patient. The results showed that radiation-induced cytogenetic effects persisted for many years after treatment as shown by elevated micronuclei and chromosome aberrations as a result of exposure to 131I. At 5 years after treatment, the micronucleus count was tenfold higher than the pre-exposure frequency. Shortly after the treatment, micronucleus counts produced a dose estimate of 0.47 ± 0.09 Gy. The dose to the patient evaluated retrospectively using FISH-measured translocations was 0.70 ± 0.16 Gy. Overall, our results show that the micronucleus assay is a retrospective biomarker of low-dose radiation exposure. However, this method is not able to determine local dose to the target tissue which in this case was any residual thyroid cells plus metastases of thyroidal origin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
JournalRadiation and Environmental Biophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Biological dosimetry
  • Cytogenetic damage in lymphocytes
  • Micronucleus assay
  • Radioiodine therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Cytogenetic effects of radioiodine therapy: a 20-year follow-up study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this