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Hum Exp Toxicol. 1994 Jan;13(1):11-6.

Mercury kinetics in a case of severe mercuric chloride poisoning treated with dimercapto-1-propane sulphonate (DMPS).

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National Poison Control Center, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


A case of severe mercuric chloride poisoning with clinical signs of mucosal damage of the gastrointestinal tract and anuric renal failure, is presented. The initial whole blood mercury concentration was 14,300 micrograms l-1. This concentration is supposed to be associated with fatal outcome due to multiple organ failure. Because of anuric renal failure, haemodialysis was necessary. Kidney function returned to normal within 10 days. Haemodialysis proved to be ineffective with regard to total mercury elimination. Treatment with DMPS was started because of very severe poisoning, anuric renal failure and optimistic reports on the "new" chelating agent 2,3-dimercapto-1 propanesulphonic acid (DMPS) in mercury poisoning. DMPS was administered by parenteral route initially and was continued thereafter by oral route, until whole blood and urine mercury concentrations had decreased below a level considered as toxic. Except for a temporary pruritic erythema of the skin, no side effects of DMPS treatment were observed. The clinical course was mild, despite continuing high whole blood mercury concentrations. Recovery was uneventful and complete. DMPS treatment, administered by intravenous and oral route, was shown to be an effective alternative for BAL in life-threatening mercuric chloride intoxication. The pharmacokinetic data presented in this case report suggest that non-renal mercury clearance may considerably exceed renal mercury clearance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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