Semen Uranium Concentrations in Depleted Uranium Exposed Gulf War Veterans: Correlations with Other Body Fluid Matrices

  • Melissa A. McDiarmidEmail author
  • Patricia Gucer
  • Jose A. Centeno
  • Todor Todorov
  • Katherine S. Squibb


Environmental metal exposure, as well as dietary metals, may adversely affect semen quality even as others play an essential role in normal spermatogenesis and fertility. Measures of seminal fluid metals have therefore been of high interest in the last several decades but have shown inconsistent results in correlations with some semen quality parameters. As well, environmental metal measures across various body fluid matrices have not been consistently correlated contrary to what one might hypothesize based on a systemic body burden of metal. This may be due to the body fluid matrices assessed and to other differences in laboratory methods and sample preparation. Measures of uranium, a potentially toxic metal in humans, have not previously been reported in the semen of environmentally metal-exposed populations. We report here uranium seminal fluid results and the high correlation of uranium concentrations across several body fluid matrices in a cohort of military veterans exposed to depleted uranium in combat events during the Iraqi Gulf War. These results inform the risk communication conversation for exposed populations and broaden the public health assessments from various exposure scenarios.


Metals Uranium Semen Biomonitoring 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. McDiarmid
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Patricia Gucer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jose A. Centeno
    • 3
  • Todor Todorov
    • 3
  • Katherine S. Squibb
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center BaltimoreBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Center for Devices and Radiological Health Office of Science and Engineering LaboratoriesUS Food and Drug AdministrationSilver SpringUSA

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