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Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 1997 Mar;55(1):130-5.

[Possible role of the immune system in lead peripheral polyneuropathy. Case report].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Hospital Universitário de Brasília, Brasil.


This is a case report of a twenty-five years old man who developed, due to lead intoxication, a severe axonal peripheral predominantly motor neuropathy, after a shotgun injury. The projectile was retained in the right hip. Before this diagnosis had been done he was treated with corticosteroids in immunosuppressive doses and showed an improvement, but he had worsened at each attempt to interrupt the drug. Because he had also other signs of lead intoxication, such as abdominal cramps, severe anemia and seizures it was search for the blood levels of lead that was 101.2 micrograms/dl. The patient was treated with calcium disodium edetate and surgical removal of lead fragments. After that he had a good outcome with no need of corticosteroids. It is emphasized the possible relevance of the immune system on the mechanism of plumbic intoxication and the importance of the withdrawal of the lead material retained in joints.

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