Introduction: A great deal of data regarding the toxicology of mercury has been recently reported. Although the most common human exposures to mercury are currently mercury vapour from amalgam tooth fillings, methylmercury from seafood and ethylmercury as a preservative in vaccines, in the past mercury compounds have been used in the treatment of syphilis.
Case presentation: Mercury intoxication was found in a 67 year-old Italian man affected by neurological symptoms of apparently unknown origin. The patient developed syphilis forty years ago and then underwent therapy with mercurials to treat his chronic bacterial infection. We treated the patient with disodium edetate chelation therapy. Six months after the beginning of the therapy, the patient's neurological symptoms began to decrease, and were completely cured after two years of therapy.
Conclusion: This case supports the use of chelation therapy with disodium edetate to remove damages caused by mercury intoxication.