News | Radiation Dose Management | July 17, 2017

Low Doses of Radiation Could Harm Cardiovascular Health

New study suggests dose of 0.5 Gy associated with significantly increased risk of cardiovascular damage as long as decades after exposure

Low Doses of Radiation Could Harm Cardiovascular Health

July 17, 2017 — Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, has a harmful effect on the cardiovascular system even at doses equivalent to recurrent computed tomography (CT) imaging, a new study published in the International Journal of Radiation Biology suggests.

It is known that populations exposed to ionizing radiation in medical or environmental settings have symptoms suggesting an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, this research study suggests that low exposure to doses of around 0.5 Gy (the equivalent of repeated CT scans) is associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular damage, up to decades after exposure. This raises questions about the nature of long-term alterations in the heart's vascular system caused by such doses.

Soile Tapio, M.D., and Omid Azimzadeh, M.D., of Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, and colleagues studied how human coronary artery endothelial cells respond to a relatively low radiation dose of 0.5 Gy and found several permanent alterations in the cells that had the potential to adversely affect their essential functions.

Endothelial cells, which form the inner layer of blood vessels, were found to produce reduced amounts of nitric oxide, an essential molecule in several physiological processes including vascular contraction. Previously, high-dose radiation (16 Gy) has been shown to persistently reduce levels of nitric oxide in the serum of mice, but this is the first study to indicate impaired nitric oxide signaling at much lower doses.

Cells damaged by low-dose radiation also produced increased amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are formed as a natural byproduct of normal oxygen metabolism and play an important role in cell signaling. Increased ROS can damage DNA and proteins.

In addition, exposed cardiac endothelial cells were found to have reduced capacity to degrade oxidized proteins and to be aging prematurely. Such harmful changes did not occur immediately (that is, within a day) but first began in the longer term (one to two weeks). As these cells do not divide rapidly in the body, this observed time in the cell culture would correspond to several years in the living organism.

All these molecular changes are indicative of long-term premature dysfunction and suggest a mechanistic explanation to the epidemiological data showing increased risk of cardiovascular disease after low-dose radiation exposure, the authors concluded.

 

Related Radiation Dose Management Content

VIDEO: Eye-tracking For Dose Reduction in the Cath Lab

VIDEO: Radiation Dose Monitoring in Medical Imaging

Read the article “States Making A Difference in Radiation Safety.”

Read the article “Discussion on CT Dose Reduction.”

 

For more information: www.tandfonline.com/loi/irab20

Related Content

Philips Showcases Integrated Solutions for Cardiovascular Care at TCT 2018
News | Cardiac Imaging | September 20, 2018
At the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) annual meeting, Sept. 21–25 in San Diego, Philips is showcasing...
Machine Learning IDs Markers to Help Predict Alzheimer's

Neurologists use structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify changes in brain tissue (both gray and white matter) that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The MRI images are analyzed using morphometry and tractography techniques, which detect changes in the shape and dimensions of the brain and in the tissue microstructure, respectively. In this example, the images show the normal brain of an elderly patient. Image courtesy of Jiook Cha.

News | Neuro Imaging | September 20, 2018
New research has shown a combination of two different modes of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer-based...
LVivo EF Cardiac Tool Now Available for GE Vscan Extend Handheld Mobile Ultrasound
Technology | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | September 19, 2018
DiA Imaging Analysis Ltd. (DiA), a provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered ultrasound analysis tools,...
SimonMed Deploys ClearRead CT Enterprise Wide
News | Computer-Aided Detection Software | September 17, 2018
September 17, 2018 — National outpatient physician radiology group SimonMed Imaging has selected Riverain Technologie
Siemens Healthineers Announces First U.S. Install of Somatom go.Top CT
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 17, 2018
September 17, 2018 — The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus recently became the first healthcare
Sponsored Content | Whitepapers | Radiation Dose Management | September 10, 2018
It’s crucial for medical professionals to understand the radiation risk/ benefit balance of diagnostic imaging system
The Siemens Biograph Vision PET-CT system was released in mid-2018.

The Siemens Biograph Vision PET-CT system was released in mid-2018.

Feature | Nuclear Imaging | September 07, 2018 | By Dave Fornell
Nuclear imaging technology for both single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography...
The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s.

The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s.

Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | September 07, 2018
Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate...
Carestream Releases Second-Generation Metal Artifact Reduction Software for OnSight 3D Extremity System
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 06, 2018
Carestream Health has started shipping a new software version for its Carestream OnSight 3D Extremity System that...

Image courtesy of Medic Vision

Feature | Radiation Dose Management | September 06, 2018 | By Mukul Mehra, M.D.
While working with a patient with Crohn’s disease in my gastroenterology practice, I nearly ordered a computed...