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Proton-Induced X-ray Emission Analysis of Human Autopsy Tissues*

  • R. D. Lear (a1), H. A. Van Rinsvelt (a1) and W. S. Adams (a2)


The 3.8 MeV proton beam from the University of Florida Van de Graaff accelerator has been used to perform trace element analysis of approximately 1200 samples (mostly from autopsies) of human tissues by proton-induced X-ray emission analysis (PIXE). Fifteen different organs and a variety of diseases have been studied. Preliminary data are presented indicating the variations of various elements in human kidney as a function of age. Analysis of samples from infants also indicate essential and non-essential elements in human kidney. On the average twelve trace elements (with atomic number equal to or larger than nineteen) are observed in each organ. Quantitative measurements have been made on several elements including K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, Br, Rb, Sr, Cd, and Ba.



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Supported in part by grants GM20281-02 and GM20282-02 from the National Institutes of Health.



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1. Bearse, R. C., Close, D. A., Malanify, J. J. and Umbarger, C. J., “Elemental Analysis of Whole Blood Using Proton-Induced X-Ray Emission,” Analytical Chemistry 46, 499503 (1974).
2. Valkovic, V., Liebert, R. B., Zabel, T., Larson, H. T., Miljanic, D., Wheeler, R. M. and Phillips, G. C., “Trace Element Analysis Using Proton-Induced X-ray Emission Spectroscopy,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods 114, 573579 (1974).
3. Lear, R. D., Van Rinsvelt, H. A. and Adams, W. R., “An Investigation of the Correlation Between Human Diseases and Trace Element Levels by Proton-Induced X-Ray Emission Analysis,” Advances in X-Ray Analysis 19, 521532 (1975).
4. Kaufmann, H. C., Florida State University, private communication.


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