Evaluation of circulating cell-free nucleic acids in health workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation

KILINÇ N., Onbasilar M., ÇAYIR A.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, vol.29, no.27, pp.40543-40549, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 27
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-022-18828-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.40543-40549
  • Keywords: Radiation exposure, Cell-free nucleic acid, ccfRNA, ccfDNA, ccfmiRNA, FREE DNA, THYROID-CANCER, APOPTOSIS, MICRORNAS, BIOMARKER
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Radiology workers might constantly be exposed to low-dose ionizing radiation due to their profession. Low doses of radiation in a short exposure time have the potential to alter the genome, which might potentially lead to diseases. The main objective of this study was to determine whether the amount of cell-free nucleic acids in plasma samples of radiation-exposed workers was different from the general public, in other words, non-exposed individuals. In this context, we investigated the association between radiation exposure and cell-free nucleic acids concentration by using radiation exposure parameters. The study consisted of 40 radiology workers and 40 individuals who were not exposed to ionizing radiation. The plasma concentrations of cell-free DNA, RNA, and miRNA were measured fluorometrically. We found that the ccfRNA concentration of the radiation-exposed group was significantly different from that of the non-exposed group (p = 0.0001). However, there are no differences between both groups in terms of ccfDNA and ccfmiRNA concentration. The concentration of ccfDNA is significantly correlated with working time in the fluoroscopy field (p < 0.05). We found that the concentration of ccfmiRNA was significantly correlated with working time in plain radiography (p < 0.01) and computed tomography (p < 0.05) and with total working time (p < 0.01). Similarly, the concentrations of ccfRNA were significantly correlated with working time in computed tomography (p < 0.01) and with the total working time (p < 0.05) of the workers. We found that imaging number in computed tomography significantly altered the level of ccfRNA (p = 0.006) and that working time in the computed tomography field significantly affected the ccfRNA concentration (p = 0.03, R-2 =0.36 for model). Finally, we determined that total working time was significantly associated with total ccfRNA concentration (p < 0.05, R-2 =0.25 for model). In conclusion, total RNA measured in radiation-exposed workers has the potential to predict the radiation exposure risk. Furthermore, total working time and working time in the tomography field significantly alter the level of free nucleic acids.