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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2009 Jan;127(1):16-27. doi: 10.1007/s12011-008-8222-8. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

Estimation of toxic metals in scalp hair samples of chronic kidney patients.

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  • 1National Center of Excellence in Analytical Chemistry, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, 76080, Pakistan.


The determination of toxic metals (TMs) in the biological samples of human beings is an important clinical screening procedure. The aim of this work is to determine total content of TMs, aluminum (Al), cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) in scalp hair samples of chronic kidney male patients (CKPs) on maintenance hemodialysis, during the period of 2005-2007. The study included 115 CKPs (all smokers) and 150 controls or referents [82 (nonsmokers) and 68 (smokers)]. Both controls and patients (males) were of the same age group (ranged 25-55 years), socioeconomic status, localities, and dietary habits. The scalp hair samples were analyzed by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometer, prior to microwave-induced acid digestion. The accuracy of the total Al, Cd, Ni, and Pb measurements was tested by simultaneously analyzing certified reference material (human hair NCS ZC81002). No significant differences were observed between the analytical results and the certified values (paired t test at p > 0.05). The levels of TMs in scalp hair samples of patients were found to be higher as compared to control nonsmoker and smokers. Moreover, the study shows that levels of Al, Cd, Ni, and Pb in scalp hair samples may be useful to evaluate the impact of cigarette smoking in kidney failure patients.

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