What is the role of urine mercury measurement in the workup of mercury 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

Urinary mercury levels are typically less than 10-20 mcg/L. Excretion of mercury in urine is a good indicator of inorganic and elemental mercury exposure but is unreliable for organic mercury (methylmercury) because this is eliminated mostly in the feces. In cases of chronic mercury toxicity, the urinary mercury measurement may be falsely low. [79]


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