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In recent years much attention has been paid to the presence and role played by trace metals in human tissues and body fluids. Rare-earth element ions are known to have high affinity for calcium binding sites and to antagonize calcium-mediate biological response. The present paper describes an investigation on rare-earth elements abundance in tissue and endogenous plasma of apparently healthy subjects and patients affected by epicondylitis, at the elbow or by laryngeal carcinoma. Some rare-earth elements, namely La, Ce, Nd, Eu, Gd, Yb and Lu were determined by radiochemical neutron activation analysis. Results are presented and discussed as far as precision, accuracy and sensitivity are concerned. The obtained data indicate that rare-earth elements levels in plasma and tissues are significantly affected by the occurence of pathological conditions.

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