Effect of heavy metals on fish larvae deformities: A review

Environ Res. 2015 Feb;137:246-55. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.12.014. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


Heavy metals have been associated with many fish deformities in natural populations and in laboratory produced specimens as well. Deformities in general have devastating effects on fish populations since they affect the survival, the growth rates, the welfare and their external image. Although the embryonic stage in respect to heavy metal exposure has been extensively studied, there is not much information available as to what happens in fish larvae and adults. In the present article, we present the available information on the effect of heavy metals on fish larvae deformities. We also address the need for more research towards the effects of metals on the subsequent life stages in order to assess the long-term consequences of heavy metal poisoning on fish organisms and possibly correlate these consequences with the environmental contamination (use as biomarkers).

Keywords: Biomarkers; Deformities; Environment; Fish larvae; Heavy metals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / abnormalities*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects*
  • Fishes / embryology*
  • Fishes / metabolism
  • Metals, Heavy / toxicity*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical