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Selective enhancement of urinary organic mercury excretion by D-penicillamine
  1. Nobuo Ishihara1,
  2. Shoji Shiojima2,
  3. Tsuguyoshi Suzuki3
  1. 1Department of Hygiene, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Japan
  2. 2Tohoku Rosai Hospital, Japan
  3. 3Department of Public Health, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan


    Ishihara, N., Shiojima, S., and Suzuki, T. (1974).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,31, 245-249. Selective enhancement of urinary organic mercury excretion by D-penicillamine. This report deals with the study of a patient who was suspected of having mercury vapour poisoning and was treated with D-penicillamine.

    D-penicillamine by mouth enhanced the urinary excretion of organic but not inorganic mercury. It was considered that D-penicillamine was ineffective because at a relatively low dose level of inorganic mercury exposure most inorganic mercury was tightly bound to sites of great affinity for mercury in tissues and resistant to replacement with D-penicillamine. On the contrary, organic mercury was considered to be easily replaced with D-penicillamine.

    The need to study further the different nature of tissue binding between inorganic and organic mercury is discussed.

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