Background: Oral chelation tests have been used to try to define mercury toxicity in individuals with dental amalgams, who are suffering from a variety of non-specific symptoms.
Methods: Self-reported healthy individuals volunteered to undergo an oral chelation test using dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) at a dose of 30 mg/kg body weight. Urinary mercury : creatinine ratios were measured pre-dose and 3 h post-dose.
Results: Urinary mercury : creatinine ratios were similar to levels previously reported in individuals with symptoms that could have been attributed to mercury toxicity. One volunteer suffered a serious reaction to DMSA.
Conclusion: The oral chelation test using DMSA may lead to misleading diagnostic advice regarding potential mercury toxicity and can be associated with serious side effects.