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Examination of the liver in personnel working with liquid rocket propellant
  1. Palle Petersen,
  2. Erik Bredahl,
  3. Ove Lauritsen,
  4. Thomas Laursen
  1. Medical Department TA, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen
  2. Department of Clinical Chemistry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen
  3. The Danish Air Force

    Abstract

    Petersen, P., Bredahl, E., Lauritsen, O., and Laursen, T. (1970).Brit. J. industr. Med.,27, 141-146. Examination of the liver in personnel working with liquid rocket propellants. Personnel working with liquid rocket propellants were subjected to routine health examinations, including liver function tests, as the propellant, unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) is potentially toxic to the liver. In 46 persons the concentrations of serum alanine aminotransferase (SGPT) were raised.

    Liver biopsy was performed in 26 of these men; 6 specimens were pathological (fatty degeneration), 5 were uncertain, and 15 were normal. All 6 pathological biopsies were from patients with a raised SGPT at the time of biopsy. Of the 15 persons with a normal liver biopsy, 14 had a normal SGPT, while one (who was an alcoholic) had a raised SGPT. The connection between SGPT and histology of the liver, as well as the possible causal relation between the pathological findings and exposure to UDMH, is discussed.

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