Possible effects of the exposure to ionizing radiation on the patients recovered from COVID-19





COVID-19, ionizing radiation, low-doses, long-term effects, cytokine “storm”, lymphocytes, radiosensitivity, low-dose radiotherapy, computed tomography, radiobiological studies


The aim. To conduct an analytical literature review on the possible impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the radiosensitivity of the human body and justify the relevance of radiobiological research in this area.

Materials and methods. Analysis of data from biological dosimetry / indication of radiation lesions of human peripheral blood T-lymphocyte chromosomes under medical irradiation for comparison with radiosensitivity in the patients recovered from COVID-19 (Scopus International Scientific Metric Database, IAEA guidelines, 2011).

Results. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, forecasting and clarifying of the mechanisms of distant effects resulting from interactions between ionizing radiation and the SARS-CoV-2 virus play an important role. The difficulty in solving this problem is caused by the fact that the global science has no exhaustive information on the possible influence of this virus on radiation-induced effects. The attention of the professional community is drawn to the possible impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the radiosensitivity of the body of patients recovered from COVID-19 and a hypothesis is first proposed regarding the mechanism on how to increase it based on the development of systemic long-term inflammation. Therefore, clinical trials of low-dose radiotherapy for the treatment of COVID-19-related pneumonia involve preliminary radiobiological studies to answer the following question: does the SARS-CoV-2 virus affect the radiosensitivity of the human body? Long-term experience of the author of this paper in biodosimetric (cytogenetic) studies allows her to recommend the peripheral blood lymphocyte test system with chromosome aberration’s analysis as the most radiosensitive cell model.

Conclusions. Clinical trials of low-dose radiotherapy for the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia involve a preliminary radiobiological study to answer the following question: does the SARS-CoV-2 virus affect the radiosensitivity of the human body? The most optimal approach for the solution of this problem is the use of test-system of human peripheral blood lymphocytes’ culture with the subsequent cytogenetic analysis. It will allow investigating changes in the “dose-effect” “cell cycle stage-effect” dependencies, as well as changes in individual radiosensitivity under the influence of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Author Biography

Emiliia Domina, R. E. Kavetsky Institute Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology of National Academy Science of Ukraine

Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor, Head of Department

Department of Biological Effects of Ionizing and Non-Ionizing Radiation


WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard. Available at: https://covid19.who.int/ Last accessed: 20.12.2020

Mizutani, T. (2007). Signal Transduction in SARS-CoV-Infected Cells. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1102 (1), 86–95. doi: http://doi.org/10.1196/annals.1408.006

Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19). The provisional guidelines. Version 28.04.2020. Available at: https://docviewer.yandex.ru/view/131721953/?page=18*=4joaL9fuN8%2FgB0hfh Last accessed: 06.05.2020

Bushmanov, A., Galstyan, I., Solov’ev, V., Konchalovsky, M. (2020). Lessons for Health Service: the Chernobyl Accident and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety, 65 (3), 79–84. doi: http://doi.org/10.12737/1024-6177-2020-65-3-79-84

Baklaushev, V., Kulemzin, S. V., Gorchakov, A. A., Sotnikova, A. G., Averyanov, A. V. (2020). COVID-19. Etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Clinical Practice, 11 (1), 7–20. doi: http://doi.org/10.17816/clinpract26339

Rothan, H. A., Byrareddy, S. N. (2020). The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Journal of Autoimmunity, 109, 102433. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102433

Wang, W., Xu, Y., Gao, R., Lu, R., Han, K., Wu, G., Tan, W. (2020). Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in Different Types of Clinical Specimens. JAMA. doi: http://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.3786

The atomic structure of the shell of the new coronavirus explained its exception contagiousness (2020). Available at: https://nauka.tass.ru/nauka/7777131 Last accessed: 16.12.20

Deng, X., Gu, W., Federman, S., du Plessis, L., Pybus, O. G., Faria, N. R. et. al. (2020). Genomic surveillance reveals multiple introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into Northern California. Science, 369 (6503), 582–587. doi: http://doi.org/10.1126/science.abb9263

Komisarenko, S. V. (2020). Scientist’s pursuit for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19: scientific strategies against pandemic. Visnyk NAN of Ukraine, 8, 29–71. doi: http://doi.org/10.15407/visn2020.08.029

Hertzog, R. G., Bicheru, S. N. (2020). Radiotherapy in the fight against pneumonia associated with SARS-CoV-2. International Journal of Radiation Biology, 96 (11), 1319–1322. doi: http://doi.org/10.1080/09553002.2020.1822560

Li, X., Geng, M., Peng, Y., Meng, L., Lu, S. (2020). Molecular immune pathogenesis and diagnosis of COVID-19. Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis, 10 (2), 102–108. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpha.2020.03.001

Kirkby, C., Mackenzie, M. (2020). Is low dose radiation therapy a potential treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia? Radiotherapy and Oncology, 147, 221. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.04.004

Metcalfe, P. E. (2020). Low dose radiation therapy for COVID-19 pneumonia: brief review of the evidence. Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, 43 (3), 761–763. doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s13246-020-00915-x

Kefayat, A., Ghahremani, F. (2020). Low dose radiation therapy for COVID-19 pneumonia: A double-edged sword. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 147, 224–225. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.04.026

Sarapultseva, E., Garmash, A., Gromushkina, E., Gameeva, E., Maksarova, D. (2021). Review of Radiation Technologies for the Treatment of Covid-19 Coronavirus Infection. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety, 66 (1), 59–62. doi: http://doi.org/10.12737/1024-6177-2021-66-1-59-62

Domina, E. A., Drugyna, M. O., Ryabchenko, N. M. (2006). Individual human radiosensitivity. Kyiv: Logos, 126.

Domina, E. A. (2016). Radiogenic cancer: epidemiology and primary prevention. Kyiv: Naykova dumka, 196.

Galle, P. (2001). The Sievert: an Enigmatic Unit. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 47 (3), 565–567.

Tsalafoutas, I. A., Koukourakis, G. V. (2010). Patient dose considerations in computed tomography examinations. World Journal of Radiology, 2 (7), 262–268. doi: http://doi.org/10.4329/wjr.v2.i7.262

Arruda, G. V., Weber, R. R. dos S., Bruno, A. C., Pavoni, J. F. (2020). The risk of induced cancer and ischemic heart disease following low dose lung irradiation for COVID-19: estimation based on a virtual case. International Journal of Radiation Biology, 97 (2), 120–125. doi: http://doi.org/10.1080/09553002.2021.1846818

Matkevich, E. I., Sinitsyn, V. E., Ivanov, I. V. (2018). Optimization of radiation exposure in computed tomography. Moscow-Voronezh: Elist, Publ., 175.

Matkevich, E. (2021). Radiation Risk Assessment in Patients for Chest CT Diagnostics of COVID-19. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety, 66 (2), 59–66. doi: http://doi.org/10.12737/1024-6177-2021-66-2-59-66

Kopytsya, M., Rodionova, I., Tytarenko, N., Hilova, Y., Kutya, I., Kobets, A. (2020). Features of the cardiovascular system lesion in patients with COVID-19. ScienceRise: Medical Science, 3 (36), 4–12. doi: http://doi.org/10.15587/2519-4798.2020.204011

Chekhun, V. F., Domina, E. A. (2021). Can SARS-CoV-2 change individual radiation sensitivity of the patients recovered from COVID-19? (Experimental and theoretical background). Experimental Oncology, 43 (3), 277–280. doi: http://doi.org/10.32471/exp-oncology.2312-8852.vol-43-no-3.16554

Vasin, M., Solov’ev, V., Maltsev, V., Andrianova, I., Luk’yanova, S. (2018). Primary Radiation Stress, Inflammatory Reaction and the Mechanism of Early Postradiation Reparative Processes in Irradiated Tissues. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety, 63 (6), 71–81. doi: http://doi.org/10.12737/article_5c0eb50d2316f4.12478307




How to Cite

Domina, E. (2022). Possible effects of the exposure to ionizing radiation on the patients recovered from COVID-19. ScienceRise: Biological Science, (1(30), 4–7. https://doi.org/10.15587/2519-8025.2022.254881



Biological research