Submitted: 02 Oct 2017
Accepted: 21 Feb 2018
First published online: 13 Apr 2018
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J Shahrekord Univ Med Sci. 2019;21(1):51-56.
  Abstract View: 111
  PDF Download: 81

Original Article

The effect of gamma radiation on plasma levels of zinc and selenium in nuclear medicine staff

Mahdiyeh Mirnam Niha 1 ORCiD, Mehdi Salehi Barough 1 *

1 Department of Medical Radiation Engineering, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Mehdi Salehi Barough, Email: Email:


Background and aims: Gamma radiation is widely being used in medical-imaging centers. The aim of this study was to measure possible alterations in serum zinc and selenium levels among nuclear medicine staff.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out on 30 nuclear medicine staff as well as on 10 individuals as the control group. Blood samples (20 mL) were obtained from the participants and the serum specimens were isolated by centrifugation at 4000 rpm for 7 minutes. The samples were then used for measurement of zinc and selenium levels. Zinc and selenium levels were measured using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) with a graphite furnace. The mean serum levels of zinc and selenium were compared using SPSS.

Results: The mean level of zinc in the radiated group (70.91±14.46 μmol/L) was significantly lower than that in the control group (89.75±17.35 μmol/L) (P=0.002). A negative significant correlation was found between the duration of exposure to radiation and zinc levels (P=0.005). Furthermore, a negative significant relationship was observed between the mean radiation dose after 5 years and zinc concentration (P=0.019). Non-significant difference was found in the mean level of selenium between control (1.71±0.35 μmol/L) and radiation (2.13±1.12 μmol/L) groups. Furthermore, no significant correlation was found between selenium level and exposure time.

Conclusion: Based on the results, declined level of zinc can be considered as one of the possible mechanisms caused by gamma radiation on cells which may be associated with oxidative damage. Therefore, zinc therapy can be helpful for those who work at medical radiation centers; however, it merits further studies.

Keywords: Gamma, Serum, Zinc, Selenium
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