Urinary Metal Levels after Repeated Edetate Disodium Infusions: Preliminary Findings

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 29;17(13):4684. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17134684.


Environmentally acquired lead and cadmium are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk. In the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy, up to 40 infusions with edetate disodium over an approximately one-year period lowered the cardiovascular disease risk in patients with a prior myocardial infarction. We assessed whether a reduction in surrogate measures of total body lead and cadmium, post-edetate disodium urine lead and pre-edetate urine cadmium, could be detected after repeated edetate disodium-based infusions compared to the baseline. Fourteen patients with coronary artery disease received multiple open-label edetate disodium infusions. The urine metals pre- and post-edetate infusion, normalized for urine creatinine, were compared to urine levels pre and post final infusion by a paired t-test. Compared with the pre-edetate values, post-edetate urine lead and cadmium increased by 3581% and 802%, respectively, after the first infusion. Compared to baseline, post-edetate lead decreased by 36% (p = 0.0004). A reduction in post-edetate urine lead was observed in 84% of the patients after the final infusion. Pre-edetate lead decreased by 60% (p = 0.003). Pre-edetate lead excretion became undetectable in nearly 40% of patients. This study suggests that edetate disodium-based infusions may decrease the total body burden of lead. However, our data suggest no significant reduction in the body burden of cadmium.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; cadmium; chelation; lead; vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Letter
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Chelating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chelation Therapy*
  • Edetic Acid
  • Environmental Pollutants / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metals / urine*
  • Myocardial Infarction


  • Chelating Agents
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Metals
  • Edetic Acid