Venous blood from healthy donors or from patients with various lympho- and myeloproliferative diseases was incubated in vitro in the presence of cytochalasin B for the induction of binucleated lymphocytes. The time at which cytochalasin B was added depended on the proliferation rate of the lymphocytes. Proliferation was monitored using a semiautomatic microscope photometer/computer system. The background level of micronuclei in binucleated lymphocytes of the patients before radiotherapy was statistically indistinguishable from that of healthy persons. Blood from both groups was irradiated in vitro for the study of the dose-response relationship. The dose-response curves were very similar up to 3.75 Gy, and a somewhat lower micronucleus frequency was found in lymphocytes of patients after a 5-Gy exposure. These in vitro results were compared with in vivo exposure after total-body irradiation of leukemic patients. Due to heavy medication that accompanied radiation therapy, only two doses (1.25 and 2.5 Gy) could be checked after in vivo exposure. There was no statistically significant difference between in vitro and in vivo results after 1.25 Gy, but a slightly lower number of micronuclei was observed after in vivo exposure to 2.5 Gy.

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