Accession Number:

ADA310662

Title:

Establishment of an Animal Model to Evaluate the Biological Effects of Intramuscularly Embedded Depleted Uranium Fragments.

Descriptive Note:

Technical rept.,

Corporate Author:

ARMED FORCES RADIOBIOLOGY RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD

Report Date:

1996-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

20.0

Abstract:

During the Persian Gulf War, 36 U.S. soldiers were wounded by depleted uranium DU munitions. Based on medical guidelines for conventional shrapnel injuries nonradioactive, many DU fragments were left in soldiers. Unfortunately, health risks associated with embedded DU were unknown, and an animal model to investigate this did not exist. The purpose of this study was to develop an animal model to examine the health risks associated with DU shrapnel injuries. Twelve rats were surgically implanted intramuscularly with 8 DU pellets 1 mm in diameter x 2 mm in length or 8 chemically inert tantalum Ta pellets of similar size. Urinary uranium levels were measured on days 1, 3,7, 14, 28, 60, and 120 after implantation of DU pellets. Physiological and behavioral parameters, including locomotor activity, forelimb and hindlimb grip strength, food and water consumption, and urinary output, were measured 5 and 3 days before surgery and on days 1, 3,7, 14,28, 60, and 120 after surgery. Urinary uranium levels for Ta-implanted rats remained at background levels. In contrast, the average urinary uranium level for DU-implanted rats was significantly elevated on day 128.69 ug UI after implantation and remained elevated until day 120 204.56 ug UI. There was no significant difference between DU- and Ta-implanted rats in any behavioral or physiological measures. Results indicate that the rat is an appropriate animal model for evaluating biological effects of embedded DU fragments.

Subject Categories:

  • Radiobiology
  • Weapons Effects (Biological)
  • Radioactivity, Radioactive Wastes and Fission Products

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE