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A syringe "loaded" with a cartridge identical to that used to propel whipped cream onto pastry is being employed for gas contrast x-ray studies at the University of Oregon Medical School.
The specially-designed device is far less cumbersome than other injection methods and can deliver a controlled amount of media for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, notes Marcia K. Bilbao, MD.
The cartridges used contain about 4 liters of carbon dioxide, or nitrous oxide. Other cartridges may contain oxygen, helium, freon, or other gases. All may be obtained from restaurant supply houses.
Since these gases are prepared for use with foods, "they meet the same purity standards as for drugs," Dr. Bilbao said.
The device developed and used at Oregon was demonstrated during the recent American Roentgen Ray Society sessions in San Francisco.
It consists of a standard 50 cc syringe and two piece plunger which unscrews in the middle for
Cartridge Syringe Aids Contrast Studies. JAMA. 1966;198(5):47. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110180025012