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In a situation of a radiological accident or dirty bomb dispersal, rapid triage of potentially exposed individuals will be of importance. For this, identification of radiation biomarkers through metabolomics was expanded to a human population. Patients undergoing total body irradiation prior to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation had urine collected before and after one dose of 125 cGy (6h post irradiation). Metabolomic profiling, followed by validation of the markers through tandem mass spectrometry, and quantification revealed disturbances in two major pathways, as described below.

Developing a panel of biomarkers from human biofluids has the potential to evolve into a rapid method of identifying exposed individuals for effective triage in a situation where timely and precise diagnosis would be necessary.

Development of a metabolomic radiation signature in urine from patients undergoing Total Body Irradiation. Laiakis EC, Mak TD, Anizan S, Amundson SA, Barker CA, Wolden SL, Brenner DJ, Fornace AJ Jr. Radiat Res 181: 350-361 (2014) [PubMed]

Markers that were affected following exposure to ionizing radiation are highlighted in the Boxes. Disturbances in the energy metabolism and subsequent β-oxidation of fatty acids are depicted in the urine of individuals following irradiation.





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