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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 1995 Dec;9(4):193-9.

Br, Rb, Zn, Fe, Se and K in blood of colorectal patients by INAA and PIXE.

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Laboratory for Analytical Chemistry, Institute for Nuclear Sciences, Gent, Belgium.


A preliminary study was conducted on blood samples and blood fractions of 11 colorectal patients and 10 healthy subjects (controls) in Belgium, in order to determine the concentration of some vital trace elements. Two non destructive analytical methods were used for the determination: INAA and PIXE. The agreement between PIXE and INAA was within about +/- 10% for plasma, but for Rb, Se and Fe in whole blood and red cells a difference of +/- 20% was noted; part of the discrepancy may be due to self absorption problems in PIXE, and for Rb, spectral interferences also may have contributed. The precision of the INAA method for the elements studied was found to be +/- 3% for whole blood and red cells and +/- 5% for plasma; the accuracy for Br, Rb and Zn was better than +/- 10% and +/- 17% for Se. The ratios of the concentrations in whole blood to red cells and whole blood to plasma were not significantly different for normals and cancer cases and, therefore, in future studies analysis of whole blood only may be sufficient. The mean values for Br, Rb, Br/Rb ratio, K, Fe and Se were significantly lower for cancer cases than for healthy individuals, and this might be applicable as an additional parameter for differentiating normals from malignant cases.

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