What are the unique features of mercury poisoning?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: David A Olson, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
  • Print

Some unique features of mercury poisoning have generated their own nomenclature, as follows:

  • Metal fume fever - Occurs in the acute phase of mercury vapor toxicity and is manifested by fatigue, weakness, fever, chills, dizziness, headache, abdominal cramping, dyspnea, dysuria, and ejaculatory pain

  • Acrodynia - Also known as pink disease and considered to be a mercury allergy; presents with erythema of the palms and soles, edema of the hands and feet, desquamating rash, hair loss, pruritus, diaphoresis, tachycardia, hypertension, photophobia, irritability, anorexia, insomnia, poor muscle tone, and constipation or diarrhea; acrodynia does not present in everyone who is exposed to inorganic mercury, but it is an indicator of widespread disease [62, 63]

  • Erethism - A constellation of irritability, excitability, anxiety, insomnia, and social withdrawal; erethism traditionally is seen in the chronic phase of the inorganic mercury toxicity.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!