Application of spectral decomposition analysis to in vivo quantification of aluminum by neutron activation analysis
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The toxic effects of aluminum are cumulative and result in painful forms of renal osteodystrophy, most notably adynamic bone disease and osteomalacia, but also other forms of disease. The Trace Element Group at McMaster University has developed an accelerator-based in vivo procedure for detecting aluminum body burden by neutron activation analysis (NAA). Further refining of the method was necessary for increasing its sensitivity. In this context, the present study proposes an improved algorithm for data analysis, based on spectral decomposition. A new minimum detectable limit (MDL) of (0.7+/-0.1)mg Al was reached for a local dose of (20+/-1)mSv. The study also addresses the feasibility of a new data acquisition technique, the electronic rejection of the coincident events detected by a NaI(Tl) system. It is expected that the application of this technique, together with spectral decomposition analysis, would provide an acceptable MDL for the method to be valuable in a clinical setting.
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