Mercury poisoning in two 13-year-old twin sisters

Ezzat Khodashenas, Mohammadhassan Aelami, Mahdi Balali-Mood


Mercury (Hg) is a toxic agent that evaporates in room temperature and its inhalation may cause poisoning. Due to the nonspecific symptoms, diagnosis is difficult in special circumstances with no initial history of Hg exposure. We report two such cases of Hg poisoning. The patients were two sisters, presenting with pain in extremities, itchy rashes, sweating, salivation, weakness, and mood changes. They have used a compound that contains mercury, for treatment of pedicullosis three months before admission. This compound was purchased from a herbal shop and was applied locally on the scalps for 2 days. Their urinary mercury concentrations were 50 and 70 ?g/L. They were successfully treated by D-penicillamine and gabapentin. In a patient with any kind of bone and joint pain, skin rash erythema and peripheral neuropathy, mercury poisoning should be considered as a diff erential diagnosis.


Key words: Acrodynia, mercury poisoning, pediculosis, twins

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