Research Article

Cytogenetic evaluation of cataract patients occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation in northeast China

Published: September 16, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8687 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15038687
Cite this Article:
(2016). Cytogenetic evaluation of cataract patients occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation in northeast China. Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8687. https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15038687
1,146 views

Abstract

Long-term radiation exposure is hazardous to health; late-onset effects of exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) pose risks to the lens, and are associated with other non-cancerous diseases. Individuals occupationally exposed to low-dose IR are prone to developing eye cataracts. Cytogenetic evaluations suggest that IR is associated with chromosomal aberrations in occupationally exposed individuals. However, data regarding the association between chromosomal aberrations in cataract patients and occupational exposure to IR is scarce. Therefore, we aimed to report the characteristics of chromosomal aberrations in cataract patients from a Chinese population, occupationally exposed to IR. We found that the average age and frequency of numerical chromosomal aberrations were significantly lower in the exposed patients as compared with that in the non-exposed patients. In addition, the frequencies of dicentric and acentric chromosomes were significantly higher in the exposed patients as compared with those in the non-exposed patients. Therefore, chronic occupational exposure to IR affects cataract development in the Chinese population. The age of cataract patients exposed to IR was significantly lower than the age of cataract onset in normal individuals. Based on this study, we suggest that there is an urgent need for improved radiation safety and eye protection in individuals exposed to IR in the work place.

Long-term radiation exposure is hazardous to health; late-onset effects of exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) pose risks to the lens, and are associated with other non-cancerous diseases. Individuals occupationally exposed to low-dose IR are prone to developing eye cataracts. Cytogenetic evaluations suggest that IR is associated with chromosomal aberrations in occupationally exposed individuals. However, data regarding the association between chromosomal aberrations in cataract patients and occupational exposure to IR is scarce. Therefore, we aimed to report the characteristics of chromosomal aberrations in cataract patients from a Chinese population, occupationally exposed to IR. We found that the average age and frequency of numerical chromosomal aberrations were significantly lower in the exposed patients as compared with that in the non-exposed patients. In addition, the frequencies of dicentric and acentric chromosomes were significantly higher in the exposed patients as compared with those in the non-exposed patients. Therefore, chronic occupational exposure to IR affects cataract development in the Chinese population. The age of cataract patients exposed to IR was significantly lower than the age of cataract onset in normal individuals. Based on this study, we suggest that there is an urgent need for improved radiation safety and eye protection in individuals exposed to IR in the work place.

About the Authors