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Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a disease characterised by progressive destruction of small intrahepatic bile ducts, cholestasis, and high levels of copper within the liver. The Oxford 1 μm scanning proton microprobe (SPM) has been used to construct elemental maps of a 7 μm section of diseased liver at several different magnifications. The results of these investigations have shown that the copper is distributed in small deposits ( < 5 μm) at specific locations in the liver. Further there appears to be a 1:1 atomic correlation between copper and sulphur, indicating the presence of an inorganic salt or a protein with approximately equal numbers of copper and sulphur atoms. © 1984.

Original publication




Journal article


Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, B

Publication Date





599 - 605