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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Sep;142(3):323-34. doi: 10.1007/s12011-010-8789-8. Epub 2010 Aug 5.

Evaluation of status of zinc, copper, and iron levels in biological samples of normal children and children with night blindness with age groups of 3-7 and 8-12 years.

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

Erratum in

  • Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Sep;142(3):897.


The causes of night blindness in children are multifactorial, and particular consideration has been given to childhood nutritional deficiency, which is the most common problem found in underdeveloped countries. Such deficiency can result in physiological and pathological processes that in turn influence hair composition. This study was designed to compare the levels of zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and iron (Fe) in scalp hair, blood, and urine of both genders of children with night blindness with age range of 3-7 and 8-12 years, comparing them to sex- and age-matched controls. A microwave-assisted wet acid digestion procedure was developed as a sample pretreatment, for the determination of zinc, copper, and iron in biological samples of children with night blindness. The proposed method was validated by using conventional wet digestion and certified reference samples of hair, blood, and urine. The digests of all biological samples were analyzed for Cu, Fe, and Zn by flame atomic absorption spectrometry using an air/acetylene flame. The results indicated significantly lower levels of Fe, Cu, and Zn in the biological samples (blood and scalp hair) of male and female children with night blindness, compared with control subjects of both genders. These data present guidance to clinicians and other professionals investigating the deficiency of essential trace metals in biological samples (scalp hair and blood) of children with night blindness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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