What is the blood level correlation with chronic methylmercury toxicity?

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...
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Answer

The blood level correlation with chronic methylmercury toxicity is more variable. Methylmercury exhibits a blood-to-plasma ratio of up to 20:1, a characteristic of organic mercury. This higher ratio may be useful in determining if the patient was exposed to organic or inorganic mercurials. Aryl mercury compounds accumulate in RBCs but are metabolized to inorganic mercury more rapidly, thus, demonstrating lower blood-to-plasma ratios than those observed with methylmercury exposures. [78]


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