Lead poisoning or plumbism can present with characteristic skeletal features.
This condition usually occurs as a consequence of a toxic environment: prolonged ingestion or inhalation of lead-containing material (e.g. contaminated water, paints, batteries).
Lead accumulates in the metaphyses of growing bones, which are the most metabolically active zone. It is an osteoclast-poison, so bone density is increased due to unopposed action of osteoblasts.
- may show bands of increased density at the metaphysis
- can affect any metaphysis, but the involvement of proximal fibula and distal ulnar metaphysis is highly suggestive
- may show a bone-in-bone appearance.
- healed rickets
- physiological appearances in <3 years age group
See also: differential for dense metaphyseal bands.
- 1. Dähnert W. Radiology review manual. Philadelphia : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, c2003. (2003) ISBN:0781738954. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Fassin D, Naudé AJ. Plumbism reinvented: childhood lead poisoning in France, 1985-1990. Am J Public Health. 2004;94 (11): 1854-63. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation