The treatment of lead poisoning from gunshot wounds with succimer (DMSA)

J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1994;32(4):377-85. doi: 10.3109/15563659409011038.


Lead poisoning is an unusual complication of gunshot wounds that occurs when retained lead bullet fragments are in contact with body fluids capable of solubilizing lead. The epidemic of violence by gunfire may result in increasing numbers of lead poisoning cases from this exposure. The use of oral chelation for toxicity resulting from this mode of exposure has not been previously discussed. Cases of lead poisoning arising from bullet lead in the synovial cavity of the hip, synovial cavity of the chest, and pleural space are reported. A combination of surgical debridement and chelation therapy with oral succimer produced a satisfactory outcome in all three cases. Oral succimer may be a safe and effective chelation agent for treating lead toxicity in adults with high lead levels secondary to gun shot wounds.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning / drug therapy*
  • Lead Poisoning / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Succimer / therapeutic use*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / complications*


  • Succimer