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Mercury is a heavy metal found in nature in three forms: metallic mercury, organic and inorganic compounds. It is a general protoplasmatic toxin. The pathophysiology of mercury toxicity is related to its binding to sulfhydryl groups of different receptor proteins and cellular enzymes, interrupting cellular metabolism and in this way causing cell death. In the paper we present a case of 57-year-old woman, who was admitted due to suspicion of metallic mercury parenteral poisoning. The computed tomography (CT) scan of abdomen accidentally revealed multiple disseminated tiny metallic densities. The blood mercury level was high (41.9 microg/l), as well as mercury urine level (85.7 microg/g creatinine which was 42.8 microg/l). Neurologic examination revealed unobtrusive symptoms of cerebellum affection. Psychological examination revealed disturbances of cognitive abilities reliant on the efficiency of vision organ. The results of A. Benton's organic test were abnormal. Psychiatric examination revealed no abnormalities. Results of pulmonary function tests were within normal limits. Conclusions: The intravenous injection of metallic mercury did not cause serious clinical effects. Followup examination in order to reveal chronic toxic effects is necessary. Diagnostics and treatment of metallic mercury intoxications by parenteral injection should be carried out in the clinical toxicology departments.

Citation

Anna Bazylewicz, Tomasz Kłopotowski, Mariusz Kicka, Łukasz Miśkiewicz, Sebastian Picheta. Metallic mercury poisoning caused by intravenous injection in vague circumstances--a case report]. Przegla̧d lekarski. 2012;69(8):575-9

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PMID: 23243933

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