, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 97-104

Blood and tissue concentration of cesium after exposure to cesium chloride

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Context: Complementary alternative medicine therapies based on the use of cesium chloride preparations for the treatment of cancer and radiation poisoning, have generated therapeutic interest; but oral or intravenous administration of cesium chloride (CsCl) to cancer patients as an alternative mode of cancer therapy have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Objective: Cesium (Cs) levels from human tissue were measured to determine exposure to an alternative medical treatment. Cesium levels are reported from two patients who were administered cesium chloride in conjunction with aloe vera as part of an alternative cancer treatment.

Design: The samples were analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry with Zeeman background correction. As a reference, Cs was also determined in brain, liver, kidney, and whole blood from control case materials retrieved from the National Tissue Repository of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Results: High levels of cesium were found in brain, liver, kidney, bile, gastric content, and whole blood collected at autopsy as compared to reference levels. The administration of cesium chloride resulted in blood levels a factor of 1100 higher than normal. The highest Cs concentrations were found in the liver (1029 µg/g, dry wt), followed by the kidney (815 µg/g, dry wt) and brain (219 µg/g, dry wt).

Conclusion: The high accumulation in the liver suggests that hepatotoxicity from Cs might be an initial presenting symptom in Cs-poisoning cases. This is the first report describing two cases with high Cs levels in human tissues.

The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.