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Gastrointestinal Manifestations of Lead Poisoning: A Brief Report.

Gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations of lead poisoning include abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Depending on the severity of a symptom, surgical consultation is required. The present study aimed to make a comparison between the mean blood lead levels of patients hospitalized for lead toxicity and the various Gl symptoms. A retrospective cross-sectional study was performed in 2020 at Khorshid Hospital, the main regional referral center for poisoned patients (Isfahan, Iran). A total of 82 patients aged ≥18 years who were hospitalized for lead poisoning during 2017-2018 were included in the study. Patients' information was extracted from hospital medical records, including demographic information, clinical manifestations, blood lead levels, and treatment outcome. The mean age of the patients was 48.18±11.9 years, 91.5% were men, and 62.2% suffered from multiple GI symptoms, with abdominal pain being predominant (31.7%). Blood lead levels in patients with multiple GI symptoms were higher than those with only one symptom (P=0.01). Surgical consultation was required in 14.6% of the patients. Multiple GI symptoms were the main predictive factor for blood lead levels above 70 mg/dL (P=0.03, Odds ratio=3.06, 95% CI=1.09-8.61). Given the prevalence of abdominal pain and its association with elevated blood lead levels, differential diagnosis of abdominal pain should include lead toxicity.

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