Elemental mercurial poisoning

South Med J. 1997 Oct;90(10):1033-6. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199710000-00012.


A 39-year-old man injected 40 mL of elemental mercury in an attempted suicide 3 years before coming to our facility. No specific treatment regimen had been done since then. Chest x-ray films showed mercury deposits in the lungs, as well as around the injection site. The mercury concentration in his blood was at 96.3 micrograms (0.480 nmol/L), thus significantly elevated (given a reference range of up to 2 micrograms Hg/L), as was the renal mercury elimination. Despite mercurial deposits within the pulmonary circulation, the pulmonary function showed normal values, with no reduction of the diffusion capacity. There were signs of polyneuropathy. The patient was given sodium dimercaptopropanesulfate (Dimaval) for mercury complexation. This case report outlines the diagnosis and therapy for mercurial poisoning through metallic mercury.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidotes / therapeutic use
  • Chelating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mercury Poisoning / diagnosis*
  • Mercury Poisoning / drug therapy*
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Unithiol / therapeutic use


  • Antidotes
  • Chelating Agents
  • Unithiol