Assessment of peripheral neuropathy in male hospitalized patients with lead toxicity in Iran

Khosro Sadeghniiat-Haghighi, Farzaneh Chavoshi, Maryam Saraie, Mohammad Ghasemi, Ahmad Khajehmehrizi


  • Background: This study assessed the effect of lead exposure on the peripheral nervous system in 40 hospitalized patients with lead toxicity [blood lead level (BLL) >70 µg/dl] and compared their electrodiagnostic indices with the results of the control group.
  • Methods: We assessed signs and symptoms of neuropathy in patients and conducted nerve conduction velocity (NCV) in patients and control groups, then compared the results between the two groups.
  • Results: Average duration of exposure to lead was 10.85 years. The mean BLL of patients was 100.32 µg/dl (SD= 18.42). The most common symptoms in patients were mood and sleep disturbance (64.1%) and paresthesia (47.5%). Among the patients, all of the NCV indices in median, ulnar, and radial nerves were normal. On comparing the average indices of NCV in lead-exposed men with controls, significant reductions were noted in most of the indices and with prolonged distal motor latency and peak latency. Significant but weak correlations were found between BLL and some of the indices (P-value <0.05, r = 0.33–0.52).
  • Conclusion: Comparing electrophysiological study indicators between case vs controls and considering the symptoms of patients, our study showed that patient may progress to sensory neuropathy.
  • Key words: Blood lead level, electrophysiological study, Iran, lead toxicity, nerve conduction velocity

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