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Exclusive 2019 Update: VICTORY AT THE VA – West LA Veterans Administration master plan protects old nuclear dump from development


Thirteen radionuclides involved: iodine-131, zinc-65, strontium-85, calcium-47, gold-198, iodine-125, cobalt-60, technetium 99m, copper-67, manganese-54, xenon 133, indium-113m and fluorine-18

UCLA-1. Early Experimental Imaging of the Thyroid Gland Using Iodine 131

IN 1951, the University of California, Los Angeles conducted a series of tests on humans to study the uptake of radioiodine into the thyroid gland. Additional tests were made on patients at the Sawtelle Veteran’s Hospital. The main purpose of this study was to test a new automatic scanner and recorder.

Initial scans were made using a collimated gamma scintillation counter. This equipment enabled a record to be obtained on which an image of the gland was visible and which the researchers concluded was better than a total activity count for clinical studies of thyroid disease.

The second set of scans was made on a frozen tissue preparation obtained from a terminal patient who had been given 3 millicuries of iodine-131, 14 hours before his death. The measured total activity of the thyroid gland at the time it was scanned was about 50 microcuries.

The results of these tests led to increased use of this equipment for clinical diagnostic scans in other patients with thyroid disorders. This work was supported by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

UCLA-2. Zinc Metabolism Studies Using Zinc-65

DURING THE LATE 1950s, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles; Boston University School of Medicine; and the Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals conducted studies on the metabolism of zinc using zinc-65 (Zn65).

Twenty-one patients with neoplastic disease and one patient with generalized arteriosclerosis participated as subjects. Each was intravenously administered Zn65 as zinc ammonium citrate. The amounts of activity administrated were not reported.

These studies showed that zinc appeared rapidly in white blood cells and persisted for several weeks. It appeared less rapidly in red cells, but persisted much longer. The injected zinc concentrated in the liver and other major organs and was excreted slowly in urine and feces. This study was supported by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

UCLA-3. A Study of Strontium-85 and Calcium-47 Metabolism in Patients with Osteoporosis, Paget’s Disease, and Metastatic Bone Tumors

IN 1959, RESEARCHERS at the University of California Medical School, Los Angeles conducted a series of studies on strontium-85 (Sr85) metabolism using hospital patients with osteoporosis, other skeletal disorders (such as Paget’s disease), and various cancers to determine the uptake and retention of strontium in selected tissues.

The study population included nine hospital patients and six normal volunteers. Five to 15 microcuries of Sr85 as the chloride were administered intravenously to each subject. The rates of Sr85 accumulation were determined for selected parts of the body, using a shielded sodium iodide gamma scintillation counter. Strontium-85 injections were repeated in some of the patients. Excretion rates of Sr85 in urine and stool were determined in one patient. Some of the patients also received tracer amounts of human serum albumin labeled with iodine-131 (I131) by intravenous injection to determine the uptake and retention of protein-bound I131 for comparison to Sr85.

These studies indicated that Sr85 uptake was normal in Anonsenile osteoporotic patients, but reduced in patients with Asenile osteoporosis, due presumably to reduced capillary blood flow. These studies continued from 1959 to 1962 and included additional injections of Sr85 and calcium-47 in other hospital patients with multiple myeloma and other diseases to improve understanding of the metabolism of strontium and calcium in man. The effects on strontium metabolism and calcium balance of administered prednisone, testosterone propionate, and adrenocorticotropic hormone were also studied in one patient. This work was supported by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

UCLA-4. Studies of Liver Function and Blood Flow Using Rose Bengal Iodine-131 and Colloidal Gold 198 in Normal and Diseased Subjects

IN THE LATE 1950s AND EARLY 1960s, researchers at University of California Medical School, Los Angeles and at the Los Angeles County Harbor General Hospital conducted tracer studies using iodine-131 (I131)B labeled rose bengal (a sodium salt stain) and colloidal gold-198 (Au198). The purpose of this study was to determine whether the I131-labeled rose bengal hepatogram provided an improved method for diagnosing jaundice.

At least 120 patients with a variety of liver and hepatobiliary tract diseases, and 45 subjects with normal liver functions participated in the study. Blood clearance half-times for intravenously injected rose bengal I131 and colloidal Au198 were studied to assess liver blood flow and cell function. This allowed researchers to correlate functional abnormalities of the liver with vascular defects. The colloidal radiogold test was found useful for diagnosis of severe jaundice, ascites(fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity) of unknown origin, and acute gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage.

In 1959, blood clearance stress tests using I131-labeled rose bengal were performed on 23 subjects with normal liver function and compared with tests on 39 nonjaundiced patients having probable liver disease, and on 25 other patients with confirmed liver disease. This study confirmed that this test was more sensitive than tests then in use. Tracer studies using I131-labeled rose bengal and colloidal Au198 were continued in 1960 to assess liver blood flow and cellular function in patients with congestive heart failure. Clearance rates of I131 and Au198 were determined. At least 13 subjects participated in these studies, including patients with congestive heart failure, hepatitis, jaundice, cirrhosis, and 1 subject with a normal liver.

The investigators showed that reduced blood flow occurred in liver cirrhosis but not in jaundice. This work was supported by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

UCLA-5. Tracer Studies Using Iodine-125, Iodine-131, and Gold-198 to Evaluate Functions of the Reticuloendothelial System

STUDIES WERE CONDUCTED in 1960 at the University of California Medical School, Los Angeles to develop tracer methods for evaluating the phagocytic (engulfing foreign matter and breaking it down chemically) and digestive functions of the reticuloendothelial system (a defensive mechanism against foreign materials) in man.

Experiments were conducted using iodine-131 (I131) colloidal agents administered to 8 normal subjects and 13 patients with various renal disorders. The amounts of I131 tracer administered as iodinated albumin aggregates were not stated. Blood clearance half-times for I131 were determined. Colloidal gold-198 (Au198) was also administered to patients to evaluate uptake in liver cells for comparison with the metabolism of I131-labeled proteins.

A study in 1961 at the Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology, University of California, Los Angeles used heat-treated serum albumin labeled with I131 to determine blood flow and reticuloendothelial system functions. The number of subjects involved in this study was not stated. A further study in 1961 involved clinical trials with colloidal suspensions of I131-labeled human serum albumin to estimate phagocytic and proteolytic digestive functions of the reticuloendothelial system. Fifteen healthy subjects and an unstated number of patients with diseases involving the organs of the reticuloendothelial system participated.

In 1964, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were injected with albumin microaggregates labeled with I125. The purpose of this study was to determine the extraction efficiency of the liver. After injection, samples of blood were obtained from catheters in the hepatic vein and a peripheral vein. It was determined that the extraction efficiency of the liver in cirrhosis is dependent to a large extent on the degree of portal hypertension. These studies were funded by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

UCLA-6. Retention of Vitamin B12 Labeled with Cobalt-60

IN 1960, RESEARCHERS at the Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles conducted studies on the whole-body retention of vitamin B12 labeled with cobalt-60 (Co60). In the first study, four normal volunteer subjects received an oral administration of 0.02 microcurie of Co60-labeled vitamin B12. The subjects were then monitored in the whole-body counter over a period of 7 days. The purpose of the study was to determine the retention of vitamin B12 in the whole body, liver, and intestinal tract, and to demonstrate the whole-body counter’s sensitivity for measuring small amounts of gamma radioactivity in humans. The measurements showed a retention of 50 to 81 percent of the administered activity at 7 days post-ingestion of vitamin

The results of this study were compared with results of the routine Schilling test performed on four other hospital patients with pernicious anemia. These patients were injected with 0.5 microcurie of Co60, which was accompanied by an injection of a flushing dose of nonlabeled vitamin B12.

The conclusion of the study was that similar diagnostic information could be obtained using this Co60-B12 whole-body counting technique with 96 percent less Co60 than that used with the Schilling test. These studies were funded by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

UCLA-7. Retention of Iodine-131B-Labeled Human Serum Albumin

IN THIS 1962 STUDY at the University of California, Los Angeles the body retention of human serum albumin labeled with iodine-131 (I131) was determined by frequent measurements of hospital patients and normal volunteers in the UCLA total-body counter.

Twenty subjects received an intravenous administration of approximately 5 microcuries of I131-labeled human serum albumin (HSA). This study included normal subjects in addition to patients with various disorders, including: duodenal ulcer, hepatitis, lymphosarcoma, ulcerative colitis, and regional enteritis. Potassium iodide was given prior to I131-labeled HSA administration to minimize thyroid uptake of the radioiodine. The subjects with ulcerative colitis retained only 14 to 31 percent of the human serum albumin after 14 days, while all other subjects retained over 40 percent after 14 days. This study was funded by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

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