Interlaboratory comparison of the dicentric chromosome assay for radiation biodosimetry in mass casualty events

Ruth C. Wilkins, Horst Romm, Tzu Cheg Kao, Akio A. Awa, Mitsuaki A. Yoshida, Gordon K. Livingston, Mark S. Jenkins, Ursula Oestreicher, Terry C. Pellmar, Pataje G.S. Prasanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


This interlaboratory comparison validates the dicentric chromosome assay for assessing radiation dose in mass casualty accidents and identifies the advantages and limitations of an international biodosimetry network. The assay's validity and accuracy were determined among five laboratories following the International Organization for Standardization guidelines. Blood samples irradiated at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute were shipped to all laboratories, which constructed individual radiation calibration curves and assessed the dose to dose-blinded samples. Each laboratory constructed a dose-effect calibration curve for the yield of dicentrics for 60Co γ rays in the 0 to 5-Gy range, using the maximum likelihood linear-quadratic model, Y = c + αD + βD2. For all laboratories, the estimated coefficients of the fitted curves were within the 99.7% confidence intervals (CIs), but the observed dicentric yields differed. When each laboratory assessed radiation doses to four dose-blinded blood samples by comparing the observed dicentric yield with the laboratory's own calibration curve, the estimates were accurate in all laboratories at all doses. For all laboratories, actual doses were within the 99.75% CI for the assessed dose. Across the dose range, the error in the estimated doses, compared to the physical doses, ranged from 15% underestimation to 15% overestimation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-560
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


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