Lead poisoning and gout are two of the most ancient diseases known to medicine. The distinctive colic followed by palsy was characterized by Nikander in the second century B.C., while Hippocrates had described podagra two centuries earlier. The dramatic symptoms of acute lead intoxication resulted in early recognition, but the delayed effect of prolonged low-dose lead absorption presented considerable diagnostic difficulty. The late sequelae of chronic lead exposure remain the subject of continuing controversy. Neither Sir George Baker nor Tanguerel des Planches, the major contributors to knowledge of lead toxicity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, noted that renal disease or gout were complications of chronic lead intoxication. The legacy of controversy surrounding these issues is the subject of this chapter.


Uric Acid Serum Uric Acid Blood Lead Level Interstitial Nephritis Lead Poisoning 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard P. Wedeen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Medical CenterEast OrangeUSA
  2. 2.College of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyNewarkUSA

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