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USTUR Case 0846

Modeling Americium Biokinetics After Intensive Decorporation Therapy

Breustedt, Bastian1; Avtandilashvili, Maia2; McComish, Stacey L.2; Tolmachev, Sergei Y.2

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000931

Decorporation therapy with salts of diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid binds actinides, thereby limiting uptake to organs and enhancing the rate at which actinides are excreted in urine. International Commission on Radiological Protection reference biokinetic models cannot be used to fit this enhanced exertion simultaneously with the baseline actinide excretion rate that is observed prior to the start of therapy and/or after the effects of therapy have ceased. In this study, the Coordinated Network on Radiation Dosimetry approach, which was initially developed for modeling decorporation of plutonium, was applied to model decorporation of americium using data from a former radiation worker who agreed to donate his body to the US Transuranium and Uranium Registries for research. This individual was exposed to airborne 241Am, resulting in a total-body activity of 66.6 kBq. He was treated with calcium-diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid for 7 y. The time and duration of intakes are unknown as no incident reports are available. Modeling of different assumptions showed that an acute intake of 5‐μm activity median aerodynamic diameter type M aerosols provides the most reasonable description of the available pretherapeutic data; however, the observed 241Am activity in the lungs at the time of death was higher than the one predicted for type M material. The Coordinated Network on Radiation Dosimetry approach for decorporation modeling was used to model the in vivo chelation process directly. It was found that the Coordinated Network on Radiation Dosimetry approach, which only considered chelation in blood and extracellular fluids, underestimated the urinary excretion of 241Am during diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid treatment; therefore, the approach was extended to include chelation in the liver. Both urinary excretion and whole-body retention could be described when it was assumed that 25% of chelation occurred in the liver, 75% occurred in the blood and ST0 compartment, and the chelation rate constant was 1 × 10−10 pmol−1 d−1. It was observed that enhancement of urinary excretion of 241Am after injection of diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid exponentially decreased to the baseline level with an average half-time of 2.2 ± 0.7 d.

1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Safety and Environment (SUM), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Lepoldshafen, Germany;

2US Transuranium and Uranium Registries, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, 1845 Terminal Drive, Suite 201, Richland, WA 99354‐4959.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact Bastian Breustedt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Safety and Environment (SUM), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Lepoldshafen, Germany, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 1 June 2018)

Online date: November 28, 2018

© 2019 by the Health Physics Society