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BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION

EN. MOHD FAHMI B MOHD YUSOF
SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA

CONTENTS
• Radiation injury mechanism
– Direct action – Indirect action

• Factors modifying biological effect of ionizing radiation • Biological effect of ionizing radiation • Somatic effect
– Deterministic effect – Stochastic effect

Outcome of The Class
In the end of the class, you should be able to: 1. Understand water as the main basis for biological effect by ionizing radiation 2. Describe the direct an indirect action in radiation injury mechanism 3. Explain the factors that modify the radiation effects 4. Understand and explain the stochastic and deterministic effect of ionizing radiation 5. Explain the deterministic effect of acute exposure to ionizing radiation 6. Explain the non-fatal deterministic effect of acute exposure to ionizing radiation. 7. Explain the stochastic effect of ionizing radiation

HISTORY IN BIOLOGICAL EFFECT
• Henri Becquerel – erythema (radium in pocket) • Marie Curie – died of blood cancer (leukemia) • Dial workers – mouth cancer • Hiroshima/Nagasaki - Leukemia

Rontgen 1896 First skin burn reported 1896 First x-ray use for cancer treatment 1896 Becquerel reported the discovery of radioactivity 1897 First case of skin damage reported 1902 First report of x-ray induced cancer 1903 Mice experiments demonstrate radiation induced leukemia and sterility 1911 First report of leukemia in human and lung cancer from occupational exposure 1911 94 cases of tumor reported in Germany with 50 of them are radiologists .Early Observation of Effects of Ionizing Radiation • • • • • • • • • 1895 X-ray discovered by Wilhelm C.

Radiation Injury Mechanism • Radiation effects occur at the physiochemical levels in cells. organs and the whole body • Water – 80% of the content of a biological system – Interaction with water is the main basis for biological effects – Radiation interaction with water causes complex chemical changes .

– Radiation alters cell’s characteristics. function and may cause cell death .Radiation Injury Mechanism • Radiation’s direct and indirect interaction through various chemical species – Most interactions are indirect interaction through hydrogen and hydroxyl (OH-) radicals on DNA molecule – DNA has critical and strategic role in cell’s function.

and the cell may then perform its normal function. .Radiation Injury Mechanism • Not all exposure will cause cell death • Low doses may cause damage that could be rectified. not all damages could be repaired. The damaged molecules might be replaced or be repaired by the cell after some time. • However.

breaking the DNA molecules. – The electron produced from the interaction attacked with the DNA strands.Radiation Injury Mechanism Action Mechanism • Direct action: – Interaction of ionizing radiation with atoms of water molecules producing ion pairs. .

– The electron resulted from the interaction interact with another water molecules – Water molecules break into free radical (OH-) and hydrogen ion (H+) – The free radical is very reactive as it interact and breaks the DNA structure .Radiation Injury Mechanism • Indirect action: – The ionizing radiation interact with water molecules producing ion pairs.

Radiation Injury Mechanism Action Mechanism Direct action H+ OHIndirect action .

radiation protection must be applied before irradiation. Thus. • The damage is not specific. It is similar to other etiologic agents. A consequence could be cancer induction. • There are ‘targets’ in every cell (point where are more probably affected by ionizing radiation). • There is always a damage to the cells.BASIC CONCEPT OF RADIOBIOLOGY • Interaction is a probabilistic event (stochastic). . • Transfer of energy occurs extremely quickly: approximately 10-17s.

BASIC CONCEPT OF RADIOBIOLOGY Time Scale Fractions of Seconds Seconds Minutes Hours Days Weeks Months Years Decades Generations Effects Energy absorption changes in biomolecules (DNA) Biological repair Changes of cell information Cell Death Mutations Organ Clinical germ somatic death changes cell cell leukemia Hereditary or effect cancer .

A simple way to determine the degree of hazard by ionizing radiations are using the radiation weighting factor WR Radiation quality is also stated by RBE and LET values. beta.FACTORS THAT MODIFY RADIATION EFFECTS 1. type and energy of radiation. Radiation with higher penetrative power is better able to cause damage to organs deeper inside the body. Radiation with higher RBE and LET values will cause more damages. – . Type of Radiation – – – Characteristics of alpha. and neutrons will modify radiation effects. gamma and x-ray.

fissions. energy < 10keV 10 keV to 100keV >100keV to 2MeV > 2MeV to 20MeV >20MeV WR 1 1 5 10 20 10 5 Proton. other than recoil proton. energies >2MeV Alpha particle. all energies Electron. all energies Neutron.FACTORS THAT MODIFY RADIATION EFFECTS TYPES AND ENERGY RANGE OF RADIATION Photon. heavy nucleus 5 20 .

in two shots. whole body. the more severe is the effect – Effects of dose rate: • 10Sv. one shot. within 48 hours time interval: Probability of death < 100% • 10Sv. total dose. Total Dose and Dose Rate – The bigger is the total dose. gradually over period of 50 years: No acute effect. 100% death • 10Sv. 5Sv and 5Sv. .FACTORS THAT MODIFY RADIATION EFFECTS 2.

– Non-uniform distribution of radionuclide inside a body • Some will concentrate in a particular organ in a body and cause more damage. Iodine to thyroid glands and radium to bones.. but alpha source inside a body is extremely dangerous. Alpha radiation from outside a body will not cause any damage. . • Eg. 3. Part of The Body Exposed – Different parts of the body have different importance and level of sensitivity towards radiation.FACTORS THAT MODIFY RADIATION EFFECTS cont. – Location of the radiation source: • Eg.

thymus.05 0.12 0.12 Bladder Breast Liver Esophagus 0.05 0.12 0. muscle.01 0.05 0.01 0. pancreas.12 0.05 Thyroid Bone surface Skin Brain. TISSUE OR ORGAN Wτ Gonad 0. upper large intestine. kidney. small intestine..05 .20 Bone marrow Lower large intestine Lung Stomach 0.05 0. 0. uterus.FACTORS THAT MODIFY RADIATION EFFECTS cont.

4.FACTORS THAT MODIFY RADIATION EFFECTS cont. sex. Biological and Chemical Factors – Age. oxygen concentration and presence of various chemicals may modify biological effects of radiation.. state of health and state of endocrinal system may modify radiation effects – Type of food consumed. .

most radiosensitive cells Muscle and nerve cells are highly differentiate and are not actively dividing . . 5.FACTORS THAT MODIFY RADIATION EFFECTS cont.the most resistant to radiation effects. radiological sensitivity of cell is directly proportional to its divisional activities and inversely proportional to its differentiation. Lymphocyte is an example of an exception. It is highly sensitive to radiation even though it is highly differentiate and do not divide.. • • • Spermatogonium and erythroblast are actively dividing cells . Radiological Sensitivities of Cells – – Different types of cells have different levels of sensitivities towards radiation Generally.

Biological Effect of Ionizing Radiation Deterministic effect SOMATIC Stochastic effect Biological effect Dominant GENETIC Recessive .

Biological Effect of Ionizing Radiation • Somatic effects – radiation damage appears in the exposed individual which can be:– Deterministic effect (early effect/nonstochastic effect) – Stochastic effect (late/long term effect) • Hereditary / genetic effect – manifest in the offsprings of the exposed person as a result of radiation damage to the reproductive organs or the gonads .

. – Eg. – Effect severity increase with increasing dose. – Eg. for non-fatal cancers. the effect is not observable. – Severity is weighted by factor G. G<1. Cancer. G=1. Lens opacities. genetic mutation. for fatal cancer and extreme genetic effects. • Stochastic effect: – No threshold – Probability of the effect increase with dose.Biological Effect of Ionizing Radiation • Deterministic effect: – Existence of dose threshold where below this dose. skin lesions. etc.

• Clinically observable loss of tissue function • Will always be seen above some treshold dose which damages a sufficient number of cells.Deterministic Effect • There exist threshold for deterministic effects. bone marrow damage. • Examples: cataract. . cell damage. tissue damage. • Severity of its effect is proportional to the dose received.

Latency 3. Prodromic 2.Whole body Response for Deterministic Effect Acute irradiation syndrome 1-10Gy Survival time 10-50Gy >50Gy Steps: 1. Manifestation Dose .

. • Its value is about 2-3Gy for humans or whole body irradiation.Deterministic Effect Lethal Dose 50/30 • It is an expression of the percentage lethal dose as a function of time. • It means ‘Dose which could cause death for 50% of the population in 30 days’.

Central nervous system syndrome . Gastrointestinal syndrome 4. Bone marrow syndrome 3. Prodromal syndrome 2.Deterministic Effect An acute exposure of ionizing radiation may cause: 1.

Its severity is dependent on the magnitude of the radiation dose received. – – . loss of appetite and headache. the period where the effects do not appear sometimes. vomiting.Deterministic Effect 1. diarrhea. Prodromal Syndrome – – Whole body irradiation to 1-10Gy of radiation Early symptoms of radiation syndrome are nausea. Existence of latent period.

vomiting. All blood cell originate from the stem cells. This will reduce the number of blood cells in the blood system. Symptoms of the syndrome: – Nausea. Bone Marrow / Haematopoeitic Syndrome • • Dose threshold level for effect to be felt is 1Sv. Stem cells are very sensitive to radiation. paleness – The symptoms may temporarily disappear during the latent period. Probability of death begins with whole body dose of 2Sv. tiredness.Deterministic Effect 2. – The latent period will be followed by feeling of lethargy. • . loss of appetite and fever.

– Failure to clot blood causing internal bleeding • Survival or death will be determined within 30 days. – Collapse of body defense system and it becomes less able to defend itself against bacterial attacks. .Deterministic Effect • Effect of reduction of blood cells: – Anemia. hypoxia.

– All symptoms of prodromal syndrome – Severe gastrointestinal pain • The syndrome causes damage to the gastrointestinal system that is:– Destruction of cript cells. Gastrointestinal Syndrome • Threshold level of 4Sv. . It causes the following symptoms. • Death within a week.Deterministic Effect 3. • Its effect is felt almost immediately. This failure exposes gstrointestinal system to bacterial infections and blood poisoning. It is caused by irradiation to the gastrointestinal system. This causes failure to replace mucosa cells that is covering and protecting the viluses.

Central Nervous System Syndrome – Threshold level >50Sv . – Death due to damage to central nervous system. .Deterministic Effect 4. hyper-excitation and coma – Death within 2-3 days. – Victim will suffer motor incoordination. exposure to central nervous system.

Deterministic Effect Non-Fatal Acute Effects 1. cause severe injury . cause effect similar to sunburn – 10Sv. causes effect which is equivalent to second-degree burn and will leave permanent scars – 50Sv. Effects to skin – 3-8Sv.

– 2.Deterministic Effect 2. .5-2Sv.5-6Sv. but will regrow as white and coarse hairs – 7Sv. 3. cause permanent infertility. cause temporary infertility for 1-3 years. Effects to fetus – Exposure to pre attachment embryo will cause abortion – Exposure during organ formation stage will cause defects to the organ affected. Effect to hair – 3-4Sv. cause permanent hair loss – 1. causes hair loss.

cause very low sperm count – 2.5 to 2 times more sensitive to radiation compared to adults.1Sv. . fetus is 1. Effects to gonad Male: – 0. cause permanent infertility Female: – Similar effect for male – Exposure during growth stage.5-6Sv. causes infertility for 2-3 years – 3. It increases probability of cancer incidence.Deterministic Effect 4.5Sv.

causes opacification of eye lens.2 – 0.Deterministic Effect 5. causes blindness through cataract – The above affects appear few months to a few years after exposure.5Sv. Effects to eye lens – 0. – 2 – 10Sv. .

Stochastic Effects • The occurrence of stochastic effect is probabilistic in nature. Eg. • The physical effects in on the receiver of radiation dose himself (somatic). • The effect does not appear immediately • The effect may be delayed for a long time. cancer. viruses. . UV radiation etc. • It is almost impossible to prove that a particular cancer has been cause by ionizing radiation. It is also called delayed effect. hormones. that is a few years to decades. • Probability of occurrence is proportional to the dose received. • Threshold level does not exist for stochastic effect. Similar cancer could also be caused by various chemicals.

% effect Δprobability Δdose Dose Risk Factor = Δprobability Δdose .TISSUE RISK FACTOR • The quotient of increase in probability of a stochastic effect and the received dose. • It is measured in Sv-1 or mSv-1.

005 Sv-1 for bone marrow (lifetime mortality in a population of all ages from specific fatal cancer after exposure to low doses) means that if 1000 people would receive 1Sv to the bone marrow. .TISSUE RISK FACTOR • Example: • a risk factor of 0. 5 will die from a cancer induced by radiation.

.6 x 10-2 Sv-1 per year for the risk of genetic effect due to exposure to radiation.RISK OF GENETIC EFFECT ICRP gave the value of 0.

Estimates of Probability of Occurrence For Various Types of Cancer Due to Exposure to Radiation Cancer Type Bone marrow Bone surface Lung Thyroid Breast Colon Stomach Bladder Esophagus Liver Skin Gonad Other TOTAL Probability of Fatal Cancer. 10-4 Sv-1 50 5 85 8 20 85 110 30 30 15 2 10 50 500 x 10-4 Sv-1 .

Estimates of Loss of Life-Time Due to Various Activities and Causes Activity / Cause Smoking Overweight by 30% Stroke Car accidents Accidents at home Average occupational accidents Occupations involving radiation Pedestrian accidents The safest occupation Medical x-ray Drinking coffee Loss of Life-Time (days) 2.300 520 207 95 74 40 37 8 6 6 .250 1.

but many people still fear radiation despite its diagnostic value.1 Chest x-ray • Equivalent to 3 days of annual background radiation • Risk of cancer death – 1 in a million • Though the risk is very small. .

1 to 0.1 Mammography • Equivalent to 0.2 rad dose per picture • 1 mammography equivalent to flying in commercial jet from New York to California .