Purpose: This study aims at determining the effect of radiation on peripheral white blood cells and the time for their full recovery in Albino Wister Rats following single and double (repeated) x-ray exposure, so that a safe period for repeated irradiation can conveniently be recommended for any radiologic examination.
Material & Methods: Twenty one healthy albino Wister Rats of aged between 2-4 month and weighing about 140-200g were used for this study. They were divided into three groups A, B and C. Group B and C were irradiated with x-ray from a diagnostic x-ray machine. Group C was immediately irradiated again with the same exposure factors at about 3-4 minutes interval. Blood samples from both control and experimental groups (after irradiation) were collected through a period of 30mins to 7days and subjected to standard hematologic examination to determine the WBC count and differential leucocytes count.
Results: A sharp fall in WBC was observed in the single exposed group 30 minutes following irradiation. This is however more pronounced in the double exposed group. This fall persisted till 48hours after irradiation. The WBC count returned to normal on the 3rd and 4th day following irradiation for both experimental groups. The maximum repair and recovery recorded was 98.6% for single exposure and 95.9% for double exposure of the normal count.
Conclusion: This study has presented that the recovery of an irradiated peripheral white blood cell is not 100%, and that the effect is more remarkable in cells with double (repeated) irradiation. A safe period of at least 3 to 7 days should be allowed for the cells to recover from previous irradiation before an examination is repeated. This will serve as a guide to radiographers/radiologist in the management of patients who need a repeat exposure or follow up examinations.
Keywords: Irradiation, White Blood cell, Recovery, Rats.