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Arch Environ Health. 1978 Nov-Dec;33(6):308-13.

Urinary delta-aminolevulinic acid as a biological indicator throughout penicillamine therapy in lead intoxication.


A group of 121 patients with occupational lead exposure was studied. Saturnism was confirmed in 42 of them. Patients were given D-penicillamine in doses of 0.75 and 1.5 g/day. Urinary delta-aminolevulinic acid was selected as a toxicity biological indicator; its concentrations were quantified daily during therapy. Urinary delta-aminolevulinic acid is considered a good biological indicator throughout penicillamine therapy and also in the detection of lead intoxication. Likewise, the chelating test is considered an excellent method to confirm the diagnosis of lead poisoning.

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