Thorotrast

Dr Henry Knipe and Radswiki et al.

Thorotrast is a suspension of radioactive thorium dioxide first produced in Germany in 1928 and used as a contrast agent until the 1950s. Its principal use was for cerebral angiography: 90% of the estimated 50,000-100,000 patients treated received it for this purpose.

Thorotrast is an alpha emitter and is retained by the body, properties which make it highly carcinogenic. The deposition of Thorotrast is dependent on its radiological use, preparation method, and the age of the preparation. The primary site of deposition is the reticuloendothelial system including the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes.

In patients treated with Thorotrast, a plain radiograph of the abdomen demonstrates fine, irregular metallic densities distributed throughout the liver, spleen, and peripancreatic lymph nodes 4

Hepatic angiosarcoma is the classic Thorotrast-related neoplasm. Other associated cancers include:

Share article

Article information

rID: 12721
Section: Physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Thorium dioxide contrast

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.