Calibration curves by 60Co with low dose rate are different in terms of dose estimation – a comparative study

Abstract Biological dosimetry aims to estimate individual absorbed doses due ionizing radiation exposure. The dicentric chromosomes are considered the most specific biomarker for dose estimation. This study aimed to compare calibration curves for linear low energy transfer (LET) radiation built from low dose rates and whether they vary in terms of dose estimation. For that we did a search in the literature of all calibration curves produced with low dose rates and we simulated the dose estimation from pre-established dicentric’s frequencies. The information on methodologies and cytogenetic results of each study were analyzed. As expected dose rate influence β coefficients, especially at higher doses. However, we have seen that some doses were not statistically different but they should be, because there is a significant association between the productions of dicentrics and dose rate. This comparative study reinforced the robustness of the dicentric assay and its importance in biological dosimetry. We also emphasized that the dose rate was an important factor in dose estimations. Thus, intercomparison exercises should take into account the dose rates of the participating laboratories, because the dose rates might explain why some results of estimated doses fall outside the recommendations.