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  • THE GERMAN THOROTRAST STUDY - RESULTS OF EPIDEMIOLOGICAL, CLINICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS ON RADIATION INDUCED LATE EFFECTS IN MAN CAUSED BY INCORPORATED COLLOIDAL THORIUM DIOXIDE (THOROTRAST)

Abstract

Colloidal thorium dioxide was used as a radiographic contrast medium (trade name Thorotrast) especially in angiography from 1930 to 1950. Following intravascular injection, the thorium dioxide particles are deposited in the reticuloendothelial system, and cause chronic irradiation to different organs. The German Thorotrast study started in 1968 with support from the German authorities and from the radiation protection programme of the Commission of the European Communities. The aim of the study is to discover the late effects of incorporated colloidal thorium dioxide by epidemiological observations and biophysical examinations. Appropriate diagnostic and, if possible, therapeutic facilities were offered and advice was given by the family physicians. The German Thorotrast study is a supraregional research programme. It is directed by a coordinating committee, composed of representatives from the different research groups and the sponsoring institutions. The following research activities were included in the study: (i) clinical, biochemical and radiological examinations of the Thorotrast patients and a control group; (ii) biophysical examinations to calculate the tissue dose due to the thorium dioxide deposits and their daughter products; (iii) identification of the causes of death of Thorotrast patients and of members of the control group; (iv) statistical evaluation of the epidemiological, clinical and biophysical data; (v) animal experiments to investigate the thorium dioxide distribution within the body and the resulting tissue dose; (vi) animal experiments to estimate the potential non- radiation effects of deposited thorium dioxide; (vii) determination of the chromosome aberration rates in Thorotrast carriers and in controls. This report presents intermediate data; clinical and epidemiological examinations are being continued as a follow-up and some of the animal experiments have not yet been completed.

Additional information

Authors: VAN KAICK G, DEUTSCHES KREBSFORSCHUNGSZENTRUM, HEIDELBERG (GERMANY);MUTH H, DEUTSCHES KREBSFORSCHUNGSZENTRUM, HEIDELBERG (GERMANY);KAUL A DEUTSCHES KREBSFORSCHUNGSZENTRUM, HEIDELBERG (GERMANY), DEUTSCHES KREBSFORSCHUNGSZENTRUM, HEIDELBERG (GERMANY)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 9504 EN (1984) FS, 244 P., BFR 800, EUROFFICE, LUXEMBOURG, POB 1003
Availability: Can be ordered online
Record Number: 1989123005500 / Last updated on: 1987-01-01
Category: PUBLICATION
Available languages: en