Assessment of Trace Metal Disturbances in Healthcare Workers Exposed to Low Dose Ionizing Radiations in a Tertiary Care Hospital
Keywords:Healthcare workers, Low-dose ionizing radiation exposure Ionizing radiation, Trace metals
Objective: To determine the effects of ionizing radiations on trace metal levels in healthcare workers exposed to occupational radiation in a tertiary care health facility.
Study Design: Comparative cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Chemical Pathology & Endocrinology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology,
Rawalpindi Pakistan, in collaboration with the Department of Radiology, Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi Pakistan,
from Apr to Oct 2021.
Methodology: Healthcare workers (n=45) exposed to occupational radiations were compared with an equal number of
Controls in a tertiary care health facility for their trace metal levels. An atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) was used to measure serum zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) levels. A calorimetric technique was used to measure serum iron (Fe) levels.
Results: Mean serum Copper (9.54±2.52 µmol/l) and Zinc (11.78±1.90 µmol/l) concentrations of the Risk-Group were
significantly lower than their respective Control-Groups (Copper: 14.76±3.13 µmol/l and Zinc: 14.67±3.01 µmol/l). At the
same time, mean serum Iron levels in the Exposed-Group (17.55±3.88 µmol/l) were significantly (p<0.001) higher than the
Control-Group (14.41±4.23 µmol). The duration of radiation exposure was inversely proportional to serum Copper (p-value
0.002) and serum Zinc (p<0.001) concentrations, which is statistically significant. At the same time, serum iron level (p-value
0.001) and TIBC (p-value 0.003) increased proportionately with increasing duration exposure, which was also statistically
Conclusion: Low-dose ionizing radiation exposure led to a significant decrease in serum Copper and Zinc levels, whereas an increase in serum Iron levels was no................