Plumbism or lead intoxication mimicking an abdominal tumor
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The clinical presentation of lead intoxication may vary widely and in the absence of a high clinical index of suspicion, the diagnosis may be missed. The effects of lead on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and its interaction with calcium-mediated processes explain the heterogenous presentation. In this case report, the diagnosis was finally made when bilateral wrist drop developed on top of abdominal cramps and anemia. Before, ascites raised the suspicion of a tumor. Therefore, each element of the triad of unexplained anemia, abdominal cramps, and bilateral wrist (or foot) drop should lead any physician to consider the diagnosis of lead intoxication. This case also illustrates the importance of a careful and meticulous social history in patient management.
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- Plumbism or lead intoxication mimicking an abdominal tumor
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 21, Issue 6 , pp C1-C3
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- lead intoxication
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- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Neurology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium
- 2. Department of Haematology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
- 3. Clinical Haematology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Universitas Hospital, Bloemfontein, South Africa
- 4. Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium