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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Acute lead poisoning in two users of illicit methamphetamine.

Acute lead poisoning can present a difficult diagnostic dilemma, with symptoms that mimic those of hepatitis, nephritis, and encephalopathy. We report two cases in intravenous methamphetamine users who presented with abnormal liver function values, low hematocrit values, basophilic stippling of red blood cells, and elevated blood lead levels. Both patients excreted large amounts of lead in their urine after treatment with edetic acid, followed by resolution of their symptoms. Lead contamination was proved in one drug sample. Basophilic stippling of the red blood cells was the one key laboratory result that led to the definitive diagnosis in both cases.[1]


  1. Acute lead poisoning in two users of illicit methamphetamine. Allcott, J.V., Barnhart, R.A., Mooney, L.A. JAMA (1987) [Pubmed]
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