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May 22, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(21):1779-1781. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780210019005

The use of stabilized thorium dioxide sol (thorotrast) for roentgen visualization of the liver and spleen has become a well established clinical procedure, but the question of its radioactivity and the resultant effect on the reticulo-endothelial system is far from settled. The manufacturer places a warning in each box stating that the matter should be seriously considered.

Many observers have asserted that the radioactivity of this preparation is negligible as it causes no fogging of a film in many hours' time, but this is far too crude a method of detecting small quantities of radiation.

The Geiger counter.1 when brought in the vicinity of a sample of thorium dioxide sol, showed such violent and immediate response that I at once realized that I had a means of making observations of comparatively high accuracy. Though the instrument described is capable of making only gamma ray tests, it is substantial and

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