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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X

Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.72 no.8 São Paulo Aug. 2014 

Images in Neurology

Long-term effects of mercury intoxication in the peripheral nervous system

Efeitos tardios pela intoxicação com mercúrio no sistema nervoso periférico

Joseph B.B. Brooks 1   2  

Luisa F. Rocha 3  

Yara Dadalti Fragoso 1  

1Departamento de Neurologia, Universidade Metropolitana de Santos, Santos SP, Brazil;

2Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Metropolitana de Santos, Santos SP, Brazil;

3Departamento de Reumatologia, Centro Universitário Lusíada, Santos SP, Brazil.

Female, 63 years old, 11 years of progressive distal paresthesia, paresis and atrophy of the limbs. The electrophysiological examination showed severe axonal polyneuropathy involving both motor and sensory fibers. There was evidence of dense and minute images in the hands and elbows in the radiological image (Figure). The patients had a history of previous surgery with the use of a mercury column to monitor the arterial pressure. Her serum levels of mercury (12 years after the procedure) were 130 mcg per liter (reference 0-10) and the urinary levels were 765 mcg per liter (reference 0-10). Accidents like this have been reported before, but only for acute intoxication1.



. Kang SH, Park SW, Moon KY. Postoperative systemic dissemination of injected elemental mercury. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 2011;49:245-247. [ Links ]

Received: February 06, 2014; Revised: May 16, 2014; Accepted: June 04, 2014

Correspondence: Joseph B. B. Brooks; Rua da Constituição, 374; 11025-470 Santos SP, Brasil; E-mail:

Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interest to declare.

Creative Commons License This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.