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Low-Dose Chest CT Does Not Seem to Alter Chromosomal DNA

Increase in number of double-strand breaks, chromosomal aberrations seen with standard-dose CT

TUESDAY, March 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Low-dose (LD) computed tomography (CT) chest examinations appear to have no biological effect on chromosomal DNA, according to a study published online March 10 in Radiology.

Hiroaki Sakane, M.D., from the Graduate School of Biomedical Health Sciences at Hiroshima University in Japan, and colleagues compared LD and standard-dose (SD) CT for DNA double-strand breaks and chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Two hundred nine patients who were referred to a respiratory surgery department for chest CTs were enrolled, and peripheral blood samples were obtained before and 15 minutes following CT.

Of the participants, 107 underwent chest LD CT and 102 underwent chest SD CT, with median effective doses of 1.5 and 5.0 mSv for LD and SD CT, respectively. The researchers found that after SD CT, there was an increase in the number of double-strand breaks and chromosome aberrations, while no difference was seen in the number of double-strand breaks and chromosome aberrations before and after LD CT.

“Even using these sensitive analyses, we could not detect the biological effects of low-dose CT scans,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This suggests that application of low-dose CT for lung cancer screening is justified from a biological point of view.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

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