• Section 2 Cellular Response to Radiation Answers and Feedback

  • Section 2  Cellular Response to Radiation Answers and Feedback 

    1. ANSWER: D
    FEEDBACK: X-rays are absorbed in biologic mate­rial to produce a recoil electron. This electron may interact directly with DNA to cause a strand break, but this is relatively unlikely because DNA constitutes a small proportion of the cell. The cell is mostly water, and the electron may ionize a water molecule close to the DNA. This leads to the chemical production of a free hydroxyl radical (OH•), which diffuses to the DNA and causes a strand break. This accounts for about two-thirds of the biologic damage produced by x-rays. The correct option is D. 60%. 

    2. ANSWER: B
    FEEDBACK: Dicentrics and rings are “exchange type aberrations”. In other words, they are formed by the illicit rejoining of two separate chromosome breaks. A dicentric is formed as a consequence of rejoining of breaks in two different chromosomes; a ring forms from the rejoining of breaks in the two arms of the same chromosome. The correct option is B. Interaction of two separate chromosomal breaks  

    3. ANSWER: C
    FEEDBACK: Damage to bases may represent a mutation, but it does not kill the cell. Thymine dimers are produced by ultraviolet radiation, not by ionizing radiation. Double-strand breaks are the most important lesions caused by x-rays. Some are quickly and correctly repaired. Those that remain unrepaired or that rejoin illicitly to form an aberra­tion may cause cell death. The correct option is C. The final number of DNA double-strand breaks 

    FEEDBACK: If a break occurs in two pre-replication chromosomes, and pieces of chromatin without centromeres are exchanged, this is a symmetric translocation and is compatible with life (option D). If rejoining occurs so that the two pieces with cen­tromeres join, this represents a dicentric (option E). If the two pieces without centromeres join, this forms an acentric fragment (option A). A small piece of chromatin with a centromere is a centric fragment. What usually happens is that a break occurs on each side of the centromere, and the two “sticky” ends join to form a ring chromosome. In other words, the centric fragment is often a ring (option B). When two breaks occur in the same piece of chromatin, and the piece isolated reverses and rejoins, this is called an inversion (option C). All options are True 

    5. ANSWER: A
    FEEDBACK: In most mammalian cells, mitosis itself (M) lasts about half an hour to an hour. The DNA syn­thetic phase (S) has a duration of 6–8 hours in rodent cells and about 12 hours in human cells. G2 has a duration of a few hours. G1 is the phase that is most variable in length. It may last only an hour in cells that are dividing rapidly to repair damaged tissue, or it may be 10 days to 2 weeks in, for example, the stem cells of resting skin. The correct option is A. G1 

    6. ANSWER: D
    FEEDBACK: Cells in mitosis (M) or just before, in the G2 phase, are the most radiosensitive, while cells in late S are the most radioresistant. G1 cells are intermediate in radiosensitivity. When an asynchro­nous population of cells is exposed to x-rays, most surviving cells will be from the most radioresistant moiety of the population, S. The correct option is D. Most survivors are in the late S phase. 

    7. ANSWER: C
    FEEDBACK: The shoulder of the survival curve (the β component in the α-β formalism) is most pronounced for low linear energy transfer (LET) radiations and minimal for high-LET radiations. For a given particle, the LET goes down as the energy goes up. For a given energy, the LET increases with the mass of the particle. Electrons are by far the lightest of the particles listed; pi mesons are the next lightest, then neutrons, with alpha particles the heaviest. The correct option is C. 5-MeV electrons. 

    8. ANSWER: E
    FEEDBACK: The number of free radicals produced is a function of dose and does not depend on dose rate; option A cannot be correct. Ion pairs recombine in fractions of a millisecond, so that is not a factor here; option D is incorrect. The mitotic cycle is length­ened, not shortened, by radiation; option B is incorrect. This leaves options C and E. If the dose rate is very low, cell survival would be dominated by cell division occurring during a prolonged exposure, and option C would be correct. However, for any practical dose rates, the dominant factor in the dose-rate effect is the repair of sublethal damage during a prolonged exposure. The correct option is E. Repair of sublethal damage occurs during exposure. 

    Return to Syllabus 

We appreciate your comments and suggestions in our effort to improve your RSNA web experience.

Name (required)


Email Address (required)


Comments (required)





Discounted Dues: Eligible North American Countries 
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Netherlands Antilles
St. Vincent & Grenadines
Country    Country    Country 
Afghanistan   Grenada   Pakistan
Albania   Guatemala   Papua New Guinea
Algeria   Guinea   Paraguay
Angola   Guinea-Bissau   Peru
Armenia   Guyana   Phillippines
Azerbaijan   Haiti   Rwanda
Bangladesh   Honduras   Samoa
Belarus   India   Sao Tome & Principe
Belize   Indonesia   Senegal
Benin   Iran   Serbia
Bhutan   Iraq   Sierra Leone
Bolivia   Jordan   Solomon Islands
Bosnia & Herzegovina   Jamaica   Somalia
Botswana   Kenya   South Africa
Bulgaria   Kiribati   South Sudan
Burkina Faso   Korea, Dem Rep (North)   Sri Lanka
Burundi   Kosovo   St Lucia
Cambodia   Kyrgyzstan   St Vincent & Grenadines
Cameroon   Laos\Lao PDR   Sudan
Cape Verde   Lesotho   Swaziland
Central African Republic   Liberia   Syria
Chad   Macedonia   Tajikistan
China   Madagascar   Tanzania
Colombia   Malawi   Thailand
Comoros   Maldives   Timor-Leste
Congo, Dem. Rep.   Mali   Togo
Congo, Republic of   Marshall Islands   Tonga
Cote d'Ivoire   Mauritania   Tunisia
Djibouti   Micronesia, Fed. Sts.   Turkmenistan
Dominica   Moldova   Tuvalu
Domicican Republic   Mongolia   Uganda
Ecuador   Montenegro   Ukraine
Egypt   Morocco   Uzbekistan
El Salvador   Mozambique   Vanuatu
Eritrea   Myanmar   Vietnam
Ethiopia   Namibia   West Bank & Gaza
Fiji   Nepal   Yemen
Gambia, The   Nicaragua   Zambia
Georgia   Niger   Zimbabwe
Ghana   Nigeria    

Legacy Collection 2
Radiology Logo
RadioGraphics Logo 
Tier 1

  • Bed count: 1-400
  • Associate College: Community, Technical, Further Education (UK), Tribal College
  • Community Public Library (small scale): general reference public library, museum, non-profit administration office

Tier 2

  • Bed count: 401-750
  • Baccalaureate College or University: Bachelor's is the highest degree offered
  • Master's College or University: Master's is the highest degree offered
  • Special Focus Institution: theological seminaries, Bible colleges, engineering, technological, business, management, art, music, design, law

Tier 3

  • Bedcount: 751-1,000
  • Research University: high or very high research activity without affiliated medical school
  • Health Profession School: non-medical, but health focused

Tier 4

  • Bed count: 1,001 +
  • Medical School: research universities with medical school, including medical centers

Tier 5

  • Consortia: academic, medical libraries, affiliated hospitals, regional libraries and other networks
  • Corporate
  • Government Agency and Ministry
  • Hospital System
  • Private Practice
  • Research Institute: government and non-government health research
  • State or National Public Library
  • Professional Society: trade unions, industry trade association, lobbying organization