Which standard lab tests are performed in the workup of heavy metal toxicity?

Updated: Dec 31, 2020
  • Author: Adefris Adal, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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Answer

The following standard laboratory determinations may help make the diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity or help gauge its severity:

  • Complete blood cell count (CBC) with peripheral smear - Findings may include basophilic stippling of the RBCs on peripheral blood smears; basophilic stippling is not specific for lead toxicity and may be observed in arsenic toxicity, sideroblastic anemia, and thalassemia; the anemia of lead toxicity may be normocytic or microcytic.
  • Renal function tests
  • Urine analysis (look for proteinuria)
  • Liver function studies

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