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