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Detecting toxic thallium exposure
Thallium is found in some depilatories and rodenticides. Accidental ingestion may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and leg pains followed by a severe and sometimes fatal sensorimotor polyneuropathy and renal failure. Alopecia (hair loss) may occur 3 weeks after poisoning. The fatal dose is approximately 1 g.
Reference values apply to all ages.
Normal daily output is <1 mcg/day.
Exposed patients can have urine output >10 mcg/day. The long-term consequences of such an exposure are poor.
High concentrations of gadolinium and iodine are known to interfere with most metals tests. If either gadolinium- or iodine-containing contrast media has been administered, a specimen should not be collected for 96 hours.
1. Bank WJ, Pleasure DE, Suzuki K, et al: Thallium poisoning. Arch Neurol 1972;26:456-464
2. Pelclova D, Urban P, Ridson P, et al: Two-year follow-up of two patients after severe thallium intoxication. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2009 May;28(5):263-272
3. Zhao G, Ding M, Zhang B, et al: Clinical manifestations and management of acute thallium poisoning. Eur Neurol 2008;60(6):292-297