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

Acute mercury poisoning by intentional ingestion of mercuric chloride.

A 26-year-old woman ingested 0.9 g of mercuric chloride in a suicide attempt and developed hematemesis, melena and acute renal failure. Anuria persisted for 14 days. She was treated by plasma exchange, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis in combination with continued dimercaprol chelation. While hemodialysis was ineffective in removing the mercury, plasma exchange effectively eliminated mercury. After two plasma exchange therapies, mercury concentration in the blood decreased linearly on a log scale with half-lives of 23.1 days for whole blood and 19.1 days for plasma, using first-order kinetics. One month after ingestion, renal function recovered to normal as judged by serum creatine and blood urea nitrogen levels, although the beta 2-microglobulin level in urine was still elevated. At a follow-up examination four months later, renal function was found to be completely normal. This indicates that the renal damage caused by acute mercuric chloride poisoning may not be permanent.[1]


  1. Acute mercury poisoning by intentional ingestion of mercuric chloride. Yoshida, M., Satoh, H., Igarashi, M., Akashi, K., Yamamura, Y., Yoshida, K. Tohoku J. Exp. Med. (1997) [Pubmed]
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