Lenticular opacities in populations exposed to chronic low-dose-rate gamma radiation from radiocontaminated buildings in Taiwan

W. L. Chen, J. S. Hwang, T. H. Hu, M. S. Chen, W. P. Chang

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological and experimental studies have revealed the cataractogenic potential of large acute doses of radiation. However, studies on the dose-response effect and the incidence of lenticular changes after exposure to chronic low doses of radiation have seldom been conducted. To evaluate quantitatively the lenticular changes in a population exposed to chronic low-dose-rate γ radiation in their daily living or school environment in steel buildings contaminated with 60Co in Taiwan, a total of 114 exposed individuals participated in a thorough ophthalmological examination in 1998. The lenticular opacities were evaluated by slit-lamp biomicroscopy after full pupil dilatation and were scored by the Lens Opacities Classification System III (LOCS III) and a modified subclinical minor lenticular focal defects system. These individuals were further divided into those less than 20 years old, those between 20 and 40 years old, and those more than 40 years old to evaluate the effects of age. The cumulative doses were assessed for each individual using the Taiwan Cumulative Dose (TCD) estimation system. A significant dose-dependent increase in the numbers of focal lens defects in those less than 20 years old was demonstrated, while less significant changes were observed in the other two age groups or by the LOCS III scoring. Results suggested that chronic low-dose-rate irradiation might induce minor lenticular changes, especially in lenses of young subjects. The delayed clinical changes in these young exposed subjects warrants further long-term follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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