Overview

fluoroscope


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A diagnostic instrument that directs a beam of x-rays through the body so as to cast an image on a fluorescent screen. This was widely used in the 1930s to 1950s, e.g., to determine at weekly examinations whether sufficient air had been injected into an artificial pneumothorax (used to treat tuberculosis by collapsing the affected lung); the consequence was later onset of cancers. e.g., of the breast, attributable to repeated small doses of ionizing radiation. The use of fluoroscopes in shoe stores in the 1930s to the 1950s was abandoned for the same reason.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.


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