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


Journal article


Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms

Publication Date



231 (B3)


599 - 605