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Weapons of mass destruction, WMD

European Journal of Radiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2007.03.037
  • Weapons Of Mass Destruction
  • Biological Weaopons
  • Chemical Warfare
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Abstract Purpose Since the invasion into Iraq in 2003, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), have come to general notice; they include today chemical, biological, and atomic/nuclear weapons, (CW, BW, and AW). Radiological findings shall be described. Material and methods X-ray findings of victims of WMD are described. From CW, own observations are reported. Examples of (possible) X-ray findings of victims of BW are described. AW may induce radiation disease. Results Exposure to sulfur-lost induces severe bronchitis; if the radiograph shows pulmonary infiltrations, the prognosis is bad; a late consequence maybe bronchiectasis. BW can be based on bacteria, virus or toxins. An approach of the X-ray findings for BW victims is based on the assumption that the disease induced by BW has the same (or a similar) clinic and radiology as that induced by the original microorganism or by the unchanged toxism. This approximation may have its limits, if the germ or toxin has been modified. In survivors of AW, the radiology is probably that of victims of thermal radiation and blast. Conclusion WMD seem to be a real or a possible threat. They can be used in war, in terrorist attacks, in crime, and in action of secret services. In case that WMD are employed, X-ray diagnostic will be used to evaluate the prognosis (triage) and the risk of infection.

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