Cataract studies receive further attention

The IAEA cataract studies received attention of RSNA News recently.

We had earlier announced publication of 2 papers from the IAEA studies among cardiologists and support staff in cardiac catheterization laboratories. These studies are the first ones in cardiac cath staff.

The topic of radiation induced cataract is receiving wider attention. In 2010 a number of publications are pointing towards the possibility of opacities in the lens of the eyes below the currently specified threshold by International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP).

A review by Shore et al. in December 2010 issue of Radiation Research and another in May 2010 issue of same journal by Blakely et al. indicates surgical cataract in eyes of survivors of A-Bomb in Japan at levels between 0 to 1Gy. While more and more evidence is gathering on lens opacities at lower doses (0 to 1Gy), data is insufficient currently to conclude the new value of threshold. But it seems more certain that current threshold is not valid.

There are problems of accurate dose estimation in eyes of medical staff as hardly any reliable data is available from large part of the world that can be used to correlate with lens opacities. Rough estimations based on work load and typical factors used in the procedures performed by staff have been resorted to in our studies. In contrast there is much better dosimetry in A-Bomb survivors and much longer follow up period. However there is difference between single exposure and protracted exposure. For more information, please see »

This topic was an important issue in recently held ORAMED workshop in Barcelona this month.

 Table: ICRP Guidelines on Minimal Lens Doses for Cataract Induction

End point Brief exposures (Sv) Fractionated or protacted exposures (Sv) Annual dose (Sv)
Detectable opacities 0.5-2 5 >0.1
Visual impairment 5 >8 >0.15

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