Gianpaolo Guzzi, Anna Ronchi, Barbara De Marco, Paolo D Pigatto and Manuela Passoni
Italian Association for Metals and Biocompatibility Research – A.I.R.M.E.B., Milan, Italy.
Pavia Poison Control Center and National Toxicology Information Centre, Toxicology Unit, IRCCS Maugeri Found. and University of Pavia, Italy.
Private Veterinary Practice, Milan, Italy.
IRCCS Galeazzi Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Clinic Toxicol
Mercury accumulates in hair. Head hair, along with blood, is a matrix for the biological monitoring of total mercury exposure. We compared the levels of blood mercury/hair mercury in humans and in a dog to examine the clinical relevance. Patient 1. A 50-year-old man with hyperglycemia and elevated levels of CD69 (25%) had mercury whole-blood 32.7 Hg µg/L and scalp hair mercury 8.4 Hg µg/g: blood-to-hair mercury ratio was 1:257. Intake of fish was 7 portions per week. Patient 2. A 44-year-old female with anemia, anorexia, high serum beta-2-glycoprotein 1, hyperamylasemia, and tremors had mercury whole-blood 13.4 Hg µg/L and scalp hair mercury 3.1 Hg µg/g: blood-to-hair mercury ratio was 1:231. Fish intake was 3 portions per week. Patient 3. A 57-year-old female with memory impairment and electric shock sensation from head to extremities had mercury whole-blood 24.3 Hg µg/L and scalp hair mercury 6 Hg µg/g: blood-to-hair mercury ratio was 1:276. Fish intake per week was 7. Patient 4. A 54-year-old female with paresthesia, dermatitis, and mycosis had mercury wholeblood 26.5 Hg µg/L and scalp hair mercury 3.2 Hg µg/g: blood-to-hair mercury ratio was 1:121. Intake of fish was 3 per week. Patient 5. A 28-year-old man with abdominal pain, mesenteric lymphadenitis (mercury-related enlarged mesenteric lymphnodes), and an elevated antistreptolysin-O titers in serum had mercury whole-blood 43.4 Hg µg/L and scalp hair mercury 12 Hg µg/g: blood-to-hair mercury ratio was 1:257. Fish intake was 5 portions per week. In humans, mercury levels in scalp hair are proportional to simultaneous concentrations in blood but are about 250 times higher. Table 1 compares the result of the blood-to-hair mercury ratio in a dark red Toy Poodle with those previously reported in humans. In a dog, the estimates of the blood-to-hair mercury ratio was found to be greater than in humans.
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2. Guzzi G, C Marsili and P D Pigatto (2010) Mercury in pediatric poisoning. Eur. J. Pediatr. 169(7):907.
3. Minoia C, A Ronchi, P D Pigatto and G Guzzi (2008) Measuring mercury exposure in children. Pediatr. Int. 50(6):839840.
4. Nyland J F et al. (2011) Biomarkers of methylmercury exposure immunotoxicity among fish consumers in Amazonian Brazil. Environ. Health Perspect. 119(12):1733-1738.
5. Magos L and T W Clarkson (2008) The assessment of the contribution of hair to methyl mercury excretion. Toxicol. Lett. 182(1-3):48-49.
Gianpaolo Guzzi is the President - Founder and Clinical Research Coordinator of the Italian Association for Metals and Biocompatibility Research – A.I.R.M.E.B., a Milan-based not-for-profit organization. His field of expertise is toxicology of mercury.
E-mail: [email protected]