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X-ray contrast fluid 'Lipiodol', France, 1981

Lipiodol is an oily liquid. It can be introduced into body cavities. It is radio-opaque because it contains iodine. This means it shows up on X-rays. Soft body tissues are normally barely visible because X-rays define denser structures such as bone. Lipiodol was introduced in 1922. It has been widely used to demonstrate the nervous system, uterus, urinary tract and other organs on X-rays. Similar water-based preparations recently replaced Lipiodol in many types of X-ray work. This is because the images are easier to interpret. These two glass ampoules of the chemical were made by French manufacturer Guerbet.

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    Glossary: x-ray contrast medium

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    Glossary: x-rays

    A wave of electromagnetic radiation that has high energy and short wavelength. It is able to pass through many materials, except those of high density such as metals or bones. Discovered in 1895 by William Roentgen.