The micronucleus assay (MN assay) is a well-established assay in genetic toxicology, biomonitoring of mutagen-exposed populations and chromosomal radiosensitivity testing. To evaluate the effect of storage time on the chromosomal radiosensitivity assessment in lymphocytes, micronuclei (MN) yields in blood samples received and processed on the same day were compared with MN yields obtained when blood cultures were set up 24 and 48h after blood sampling. Furthermore, the influence of general anaesthesia on MN and binucleated cells (BN) yields in the MN assay was considered. Blood samples of 10 healthy donors were irradiated and blood cultures were set up during the same day of blood sampling or with a delay of 24 or 48h. The MN assay was also performed on two blood samples from 60 women undergoing breast surgery. The first blood sample was taken before general anaesthesia and the second sample, 2h after anaesthesia induction. Fifty percent of the blood samples were transported to the cytogenetics lab within 2h while the other 50% reached the lab after 24h. The results of this study show a decrease in BN and an increase in MN yields with increasing storage time before irradiation and setting up of the MN assay for both healthy controls and patients. The administration of general anaesthesia in patients resulted in lower BN yields, higher spontaneous MN yields but no differences in radiation-induced MN yields. In conclusion, this study indicates that the time between blood sampling and the in vitro irradiation of the samples for the MN assay influences the MN yields. Delays of more than 24h should be avoided. To assess chromosomal radiosensitivity in patients, blood samples should be taken before induction of general anaesthesia as anaesthesia can have an impact on the reliability of the MN results.