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December 1971

Abdominal Implants of Strontium 90-Americium 241/Beryllium Sources: Simulation of Radiation Fields From Nuclear Powered Artificial Hearts

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and the Cardiovascular Division, Sears Surgical Research Laboratories, Harvard Unit, Boston City Hospital, Boston (Drs. Ponn, Molokhia, Huffman, and Norman); the Department of Pathology, Boston City Hospital (Dr. Curtis); and the Thermo Electron Corp., Waltham, Mass (Dr. Huffman).

Arch Surg. 1971;103(6):701-704. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350120065011

A colony of animals with radiation equivalent sources which simulate the radiation fields of nuclear powered circulatory support systems has been established. In comparison with previous and parallel studies, these sources have been implanted in the abdomen (left lower quadrant, extraperitoneally). The rationale for abdominal implantation is explained within a developing concept for left ventricular or biventricular assistance or total heart replacement, in which the power source and controls are located in the abdomen and the pump(s) in the thorax. The first female mongrel of this series has been killed after seven months. Histopathological examination showed no evidence of radiation-induced neoplasia or other effects aside from marrow depletion of the iliac crest and possible lymphoid depletion of the lower pole of the spleen nearest to the source.

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