Radial Neuropathy Due to Occupational Lead Exposure: Phenotypic and Electrophysiological Characteristics of Five Patients

Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2009 Apr;12(2):111-5. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.53080.

Abstract

Lead is a ubiquitous and versatile metal that has been used by mankind for many years. It is a toxic heavy metal that ranks as one of the most important environmental poisons in the world. Research conducted in recent years has increased public health concern about the toxicity of lead at low doses and has supported a reappraisal of the levels of lead exposure that may be safely tolerated in the workplace. Neuropathy is one complication of lead poisoning. The aim of this study is to describe the phenotypic and electrophysiological profile in five male patients working in a battery factory who developed radial nerve neuropathy due to lead exposure. All patients had elevated blood lead levels that were in the toxic range. The concerned regulatory bodies should make it mandatory for workers to undergo regular health checkups to detect signs of lead poisoning and must ensure that workers are aware about the ill effects of exposure to this metal. Chelation therapy removes lead from the blood and soft tissues and chronic lead exposure often requires repeated courses of treatment.

Keywords: Electrophysiology; lead; neuropathy; radial nerve.