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Title: Karyopathological traits of thyrocytes and exposure to radioiodines in Belarusian children and adolescents following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Authors: Nadyrov E,  Rozhko A,  Kravtsov V,  Mabuchi K,  Hatch M,  Nakamura N,  Nikonovich S,  Aleksanin S
Journal: Radiat Environ Biophys
Date: 2012 May
Branches: REB
PubMed ID: 22382464
PMC ID: PMC3857023
Abstract: The Belarus-American (BelAm) thyroid study cohort consists of persons who were 0-18 years of age at the time of exposure to radioactive iodine fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and who have undergone serial thyroid screenings with referral for fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) using standardized criteria. We investigated thyrocyte nuclear abnormalities in cytological samples from FNABs in 75 BelAm subjects with single and multiple thyroid nodules and 47 nodular goiter patients from Leningrad, Russia, unexposed to Chernobyl fallout. Nuclear abnormalities examined included internuclear chromosome bridges and derivative nuclei with broken bridges (i.e., "tailed" nuclei), which are formed from dicentric and ring chromosomes and thus may be cellular markers of radiation exposure. Among subjects with single-nodular goiter, thyrocytes with bridges were present in 86.8% of the exposed BelAm cohort compared with 27.0% of unexposed controls. The average frequency of thyrocytes with bridges and with tailed nuclei was also significantly higher in the BelAm subjects than in controls. Among subjects with multinodular goiters, thyrocytes with bridges were present in 75.7% of exposed BelAm patients compared with 16.7% of unexposed controls; thyrocytes with tailed nuclei were observed in all of the BelAm subjects but in only 40% of controls, and the mean frequencies of bridges and tailed nuclei were significantly higher in the exposed group. Unusually, long bridges were detected in 29% of BelAm patients with single-nodular goiters and 35% of those with multinodular goiters, while no such abnormalities were observed among patients from the Leningrad region. In the exposed subjects from BelAm, we also found positive correlations between their estimated dose of Iodine-131 from Chernobyl fallout and the frequency of tailed nuclei (p = 0.008) and bridges (p = 0.09). Further study is needed to confirm that these phenomena represent consequences of radiation exposure in the human organism.