Purpose: The dicentric chromosome assay (DCA), the gold standard for radiation biodosimetry, evaluates an individual absorbed radiation dose by the analysis of DNA damage in human lymphocytes. The conventional (C-DCA) and QuickScan (QS-DCA) scoring methods are sensitive for estimating radiation dose. The Biodosimetry Laboratory at Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER), Taiwan, participated in intercomparison exercises conducted by Health Canada (HC) in 2014, 2015 and 2018 to validate the laboratory’s accuracy and performance. Material and methods: Blood samples for the conventional dose response curve for Taiwan were irradiated with 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Gy. Ten blind blood samples were provided by HC. Either or both of two methods of conventional (C) or QuickScan (QS) scoring could be chosen for the HC’s intercomparison. For C-DCA triage scoring, only cells with 46 centromeres were counted and each scorer recorded the number of dicentrics in the first 50 metaphases or stopped scoring when 30 dicentrics were reached. Scorers also recorded how much time it took to analyze 10, 20, and 50 cells. Subsequently, the data were entered into the Dose Estimate software (DoseEstimate_v5.1) and dose estimates were calculated. With QS-DCA scoring, a minimum of 50 metaphase cells (or 30 dicentrics) were scored in apparently complete metaphases without verification of exactly 46 centromeres. Results: For the blinded blood samples irradiated at HC and shipped to INER, the mean absolute deviation (MAD) derived after scoring 50 cells for C-DCA and QS-DCA was <0.5 Gy for all three intercomparisons, meeting the criteria for acceptance. Conclusion: The results indicated that the Biodosimetry Laboratory at INER can provide reliable dose estimates in the case of a large-scale radiation accident.
ASJC Scopus subject areas