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Interpretive Handbook

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Test 89856 :
Mercury, Nails

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Once absorbed and circulating, mercury becomes bound to numerous proteins, including keratin. The concentration of mercury in nails correlates with the severity of clinical symptoms. If the nails can be segregated by length, such an exercise can be useful in identifying the time of exposure.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Detecting mercury exposure

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Normally, nails contains <1 mcg/g mercury; any amount more than this indicates that exposure to more than normal amounts of mercury has occurred.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

0-15 years: not established

> or =16 years: 0.0-0.9 mcg/g of nails

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Marques R, Do’rea J, Bastos W, and Malm O. Changes in children hair-Hg concentrations during the first 5 years: Maternal, environmental and iatrogenic modifying factors. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 2007;49:17–24

2. Canuel R, de Grosbois S, Atikesse L, and Lucotte M. New Evidence on Variations of Human Body Burden of Methylmercury from Fish Consumption. Environ Health Perspect 2006;114:302–306


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