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Proton-induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) Analysis of Elements in Varicose Veins

  • 07

    By Katherine Kozlowski, Medical Author and contributory to Vein News and VeinsVeinsVeins.com

    Proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) is a technique used to determine the composition of a material. It has been used to determine the elements in gall stones, thyroid tissue, breast tissue, etc.


    Researches from Iran used PIXE to determine the abnormalities in the walls of varicose veins compared with healthy veins. The study is outlined below.



    5 samples from normal veins, and 13 samples from varicose veins were used.


    Two 1-inch specimens from the control and varicose vein groups were processed using PIXE analysis.


    The following elements were analyzed in the samples: potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. Calcium concentrations were kept constant.




    Potassium, iron, copper, and zinc concentrations were higher in the varicose veins.


    Bromine was elevated in the normal group.


    According to other similar studies, diet and proper nutrition can help prevent the formation of varicose veins by promoting blood flow and regular bowel movements, and this may be related to the differences in vein tissue elements in the present samples.




    The elevation of zinc, iron, copper, and decrease of bromine in veins could have lead to varicosity, though further research is necessary to investigate this.




    Moosavi K, Vatankhah S, Salimi J et al. A proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) analysis of concentration of trace elements in varicose veins. Iran J Radiat Res 2010; 8(2): 117-121.