Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) in the Diagnosis of ARS – the State of the Art

Alex Romanyukha, Naval Dosimetry Center, Bethesda, MD, USA
Ricardo A. Reyes, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA
François Trompier, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Fontenay-aux-roses, France


ESR is one of a very few techniques which is capable of directly measuring free radicals induced by radiation. Generation of free radicals is a primary effect of radiation exposure that occurs immediately upon ionization. It is not affected by stress, wounds, burns or medical treatment. These circumstances give ESR a unique role in advanced diagnosis of ARS when its clinical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea have not yet been revealed. Two types of tissues are known to be good ESR detectors of ionizing radiation, calcified (teeth and bones) and keratin-based (nails and hairs) tissues. Tooth enamel has the best ESR dosimetric properties because of the high stability of the radiation induced radicals. During the last decade ESR dosimetry in teeth has made considerable progress towards becoming a routine dosimetric method. Further, recent instrument developments have made it possible to do in vivo ESR dose measurements in teeth. ESR in finger-, toenails and hair is less developed but promises much easier sampling and simplified equipment for dose measurements. Principles, advantages, drawbacks, and examples of applications of ESR dosimetry will be presented and discussed.

Disclaimer. The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not reflect necessarily the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.