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Volume 18 Supplement 1

19th Annual SCMR Scientific Sessions

  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Absence of DNA double strand breaks in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells after magnetic resonance imaging assessed by γH2AX flow cytometry: a prospective blinded trial

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Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance201618 (Suppl 1) :O129

  • Published:


  • Magnetic Resonance Image
  • Magnetic Resonance Image Scanner
  • Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Image
  • Strong Magnetic Field
  • Magnetic Resonance Image Examination


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is regarded as a non harming and non invasive imaging modality with superb tissue contrast and almost no side effects. Compared to other cross-sectional imaging modalities MRI does not use ionizing radiation. Recently however, strong magnetic fields as applied in clinical MRI scanners have been suspected to induce DNA double strand breaks in human lymphocytes.


In this study we investigated the impact of 3 T cardiac MRI examinations on the induction of DNA double strand breaks in peripheral mononuclear cells by ɣH2AX staining and flow cytometry analysis. The study cohort consisted of 73 healthy non-smoking volunteers with 36 volunteers undergoing CMRI and 37 controls without intervention. Differences between the two cohorts were analysed by a mixed linear model with repeated measures.


Both cohorts showed a significant increase of the ɣH2AX signal from baseline to post procedure of 6·7% and 7·8%, respectively. The difference between the two groups was not significant.


We therefore conclude that clinical 3 T MRI as used in cardiac imaging does not have an impact on DNA integrity.
Table 1

Relative change of the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) from baseline to post procedure. Both groups showed a significant increase in MFI. The difference between both groups was not significant. SD: standard deviation.



relative increase MFI

95%-confidence interval






5.6 - 10.0


< 0.001




4.30 - 9.16


< 0.001

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
Department of Medical Statistics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Goettingen, Germany
Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Goettingen, Germany
Departmet of Pediatric Cardiology and Intensive Care, University Medical Center Göttingen, Goettingen, Germany
Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Goettingen, Germany


© Fasshauer et al. 2016

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.