A 25-year-old schizophrenic man presented with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and anaemia. He was noted to be malnourished with generalised muscle atrophy. Laboratory investigations showed Hb 4.7 mmol/L, MCV 80fl, bilirubin 75 micromol/L and reticulocyte count 93 percent. Peripheral blood films showed anisocytosis, basophilic stippling and Cabot's rings. Electromyography confirmed typical motor nerve neuropathy. The clinical and laboratory findings were that of lead poisoning. The patient was later found to be ingesting lead-containing paint. He was treated with lead-chelating agents.

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Singapore Medical Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Klooster, J. M. (2004). A medical mystery. Lead poisoning. Singapore Medical Journal. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10362