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July 4, 1966

Whole-Body Counters

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University, Hines, Ill (Dr. Remenchik), and the Health Division, Argonne (Ill) National Laboratory (Dr. Miller).

JAMA. 1966;197(1):47. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110010099025

Whole-body counters are sensitive radiation-detecting and measuring instruments developed by radiation physicists for determining the amount of radioactivity present in man. Quickly and painlessly they enable the investigator to determine the kinds and amounts of radioactive substances in the body which have accumulated from natural sources, manmade fallout, industrial and laboratory sources, or from tracer isotopes given for medical purposes. This is done by counting emissions from the radioactive material in the body. From a physical point of view these devices do not differ materially from the instruments most physicians are familiar with that are used to assay for radioactivity in body fluids and tissues. They differ from these devices only by their large size, their heavy shielding, and their sensitivity to very low levels of radioactivity. Two principal types of wholebody counters have been developed. One uses a sodium iodide crystal as a radiation detector, and in the other

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