Medical imaging has become a central component of patient care to ensure early and accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, many imaging modalities use ionizing radiation to generate images. Ionizing radiation even in low doses can cause direct DNA damage and generate reactive oxygen species and free radicals, leading to DNA, protein, and lipid membrane damage. This cell damage can lead to apoptosis, necrosis, teratogenesis, or carcinogenesis. As many as 2% of cancers (and an associated 15,000 deaths annually) can be linked to computed tomography exposure alone. Radioprotective agents have been investigated using various models including cells, animals, and recently humans. The data suggest that radioprotective agents working through a variety of mechanisms have the potential to decrease free radical damage produced by ionizing radiation. Radioprotective agents may be useful as an adjunct to medical imaging to reduced patient morbidity and mortality due to ionizing radiation exposure. Some radioprotective agents can be found in high quantities in antioxidant rich foods, suggesting that a specific diet recommendation could be beneficial in radioprotection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)