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

CZT SPECT camera detectors offered by GE.

A display of CZT SPECT gamma camera detectors at RSNA 2016. These detectors are more sensitive than those used in older cameras, allowing for faster scans or lower radiation dose. 

Feature | Nuclear Imaging| September 19, 2017 | Dave Fornell
Cardiac nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) has been a mature area of imaging for years, but has recently star
Corindus Announces First Patient Enrolled in PRECISION GRX Registry
News | Robotic Systems| September 18, 2017
September 18, 2017 — Corindus Vascular Robotics Inc.
Two-Year ILLUMENATE Trial Data Demonstrate Efficacy of Stellarex Drug-Coated Balloon
News | Drug-Eluting Balloons| September 18, 2017
Philips announced the two-year results from the ILLUMENATE European randomized clinical trial (EU RCT) demonstrating...
Sentinel Cerebral Protection System Significantly Reduces Stroke and Mortality in TAVR
News | Embolic Protection Devices| September 18, 2017
September 18, 2017 – Claret Medical announced publication of a new study in the...
Hitachi Supria True64 CT Receives FDA Clearance
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT)| September 15, 2017
Hitachi Healthcare Americas Inc. announced it has attained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance to...
Philips Launches CardioMD IV Cardiac SPECT Solution at ASNC 2017
Technology | SPECT Imaging| September 15, 2017
September 15, 2017 — Philips highlighted its newest solution for...
Marijuana Associated With Three-Fold Risk of Death From Hypertension
News | Hypertension| September 14, 2017
Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to research published recently...
Peter Schneider, M.D. presents late breaking clinical trial results at VIVA 17 in Las Vegas. Panelists (l to r) Krishna Rocha-Singh, M.D., Sean Lyden, M.D., John Kaufman, M.D., Donna Buckley, M.D.

Peter Schneider, M.D. presents late breaking clinical trial results at VIVA 17 in Las Vegas. Panelists (l to r) Krishna Rocha-Singh, M.D., Sean Lyden, M.D., John Kaufman, M.D., Donna Buckley, M.D.

Feature | Cath Lab| September 14, 2017
September 14, 2017 — Here are quick summaries for all the key late-breaking vascular and endovascular clinical trials
Mississippi Surgical and Vascular Center Uses Toshiba Ultimax-i FPD to Save Patients' Limbs
News | Angiography| September 14, 2017
The southern U.S. sees some of the highest numbers of chronic medical conditions, such as peripheral artery disease...
Philips Showcases Integrated Vascular Solutions at VIVA 2017
News | Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)| September 13, 2017
Philips announced its presence at the Vascular Interventional Advances (VIVA 17) Annual Conference in Las Vegas from...
Overlay Init