Time History of Human Gallstones: Application of the Post-Bomb Radiocarbon Signal
CitationDruffel, E. M., & Mok, H. Y. I. (1983). Time history of human gallstones: Application of the post-bomb radiocarbon signal. Radiocarbon, 25(2), 629-636.
PublisherAmerican Journal of Science
DescriptionFrom the 11th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Seattle, Washington, June 20-26, 1982.
AbstractBomb-produced 14C is a valuable tool for studying rates of short-term processes involving carbon cycling. This study shows that bomb 14C is an excellent tracer of a biochemical process that takes place in the human body, namely the accretion of stones in the gallbladder. The methods developed for obtaining time histories of 14C/12C and 13C/12C in concentric layers from a large gallstone (30mm diameter) are reported. Formation times are assigned by matching the 14C/12C obtained from individual layers with those found for known-aged tree rings. Results show that the gallstone grew over a period of 10 years and seems to have lain dormant within the gallbladder for a period of 11 years. The average growth rate was 1.5mm/year.