This study investigated the biological effects and adaptive responses induced by single and repeated in vivo computed tomography (CT) scans. We postulated that, through the induction of low-level oxidative stress, repeated low-dose CT scans (20 mGy, 2 days/week, 10 weeks) could protect mice (C57BL/6) from acute effects of high-dose radiation (1 Gy, 2 Gy). The micronucleated reticulocyte (MN-RET) count increased linearly after exposure to single CT scans of doses ranging from 20 to 80 mGy (P = 0.033). Ten weeks of repeated CT scans (total dose 400 mGy) produced a slight reduction in spontaneous MN-RET levels relative to levels in sham CT-scanned mice (P = 0.04). Decreases of nearly 10% in γ-H2AX fluorescence levels were observed in the repeated CT-scanned mice after an in vitro challenge dose of 1 Gy (P = 0.017) and 2 Gy (P = 0.026). Spontaneous apoptosis levels (caspase 3 and 7 activation) were also significantly lower in the repeated CT-scanned mice than the sham CT-scanned mice (P < 0.01). In contrast, mice receiving only a single CT scan showed a 19% elevation in apoptosis (P < 0.02) and a 10% increase in γ-H2AX fluorescence levels after a 2-Gy challenge (P < 0.05) relative to sham CT controls. Overall, repeated CT scans seemed to confer resistance to larger doses in mice, whereas mice exposed to single CT scans exhibited transient genotoxicity, enhanced apoptosis, and characteristics of radiation sensitization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging