Biological indicators for the identification of ionizing radiation exposure in humans

Sally A. Amundson, Michael Bittner, Paul Meltzer, Jeffrey Trent, Albert J. Fomace

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


While the effects of acute high-dose irradiation are well-documented, less is known about the effects of low level chronic radiation exposure. Physical dosimetry cannot always be relied upon, so dose estimates and determination of past radiation exposure must often be based upon biological indicators. Some of the established methods used in the assessment of nuclear accidents are reviewed here, including cytogenetic analyses, mutation-based assays and electron spin resonance. As interest in research on low-level radiation exposures expands, there is an increasing need for new biomarkers that can identify exposed individuals in human populations. Developments in high-throughput gene expression profiling may enable future development of a rapid and noninvasive testing method for application to potentially exposed populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Biodosimetry
  • Cytogenetics
  • Dose responsive
  • Gene induction
  • Mutation
  • cDNA microarray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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