Heavy Metal Poisoning


The major metals involved in producing visible radiologic changes are lead, phosphorus, and bismuth. Of these, lead is the most frequent, but lead intoxication is still a rare skeletal disorder.

Lead may be ingested, inhaled, or implanted. Clinical symptoms occur abruptly, with abdominal pain, encephalopathy, and paralysis. Radiologically, the most definitive signs are the linear, transverse densities at the metaphyses (lead lines). The deposition of lead may also precipitate remodeling abnormalities. Phosphorus and bismuth exhibit similar changes.

Workers involved in the polymerization of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) may develop a peculiar form of acroosteolysis.

Dr. Terry R. Yochum is a second generation chiropractor and a Cum Laude Graduate of National College of Chiropractic, where he subsequently completed his radiology residency. He is currently Director of the Rocky Mountain Chiropractic Radiological Center in Denver, Colorado, and Adjunct Professor of Radiology at the Southern California University of Health Sciences, as well as an instructor of skeletal radiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO. Dr. Yochum can be reached at 303-940-9400 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Dr. Chad J. Maola is a 1990 Magna Cum Laude Graduate of National College of Chiropractic. Dr. Maola is a Chiropractic Orthopedist and is available for post-graduate seminars. He may be reached at 303-690-8503 or e-mail [email protected].


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