Lead poisoning


Lead poisoning


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

6 pages


Lead poisoning

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 47-year-old man is brought to the office by his son due to increased forgetfulness and fatigue for the past three months. He has also been frequently stumbling and experienced several near-falls while climbing stairs. Review of systems is also notable for abdominal pain and numbness in the patient’s hands and feet. Past medical history is unremarkable, and he does not take any medications. He has been working as an automobile mechanic for the last 20 years. Vitals are within normal limits. The abdomen is soft, nontender, and without organomegaly on physical examination. Neurological examination reveals weakness and reduced pinprick sensation in the bilateral hands and feet. Upper and lower limb reflexes are 2/5. Laboratory testing is shown below. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?


External References

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Abdominal colic

lead poisoning p. 427

Basophilic stippling p. 424, 721

lead poisoning p. 427

Burton line

lead poisoning p. 427


lead poisoning p. 427


lead poisoning (adult) p. 432


for lead poisoning p. 249, 427


lead poisoning p. 427

Foot drop p. 460

lead poisoning p. 427

Headache p. 536

lead poisoning p. 432

Lead poisoning p. 427, 432

acute tubular necrosis p. 626

in anemia taxonomy p. 425

basophilic stippling in p. 424

labs/findings p. 721

presentation p. 718

sideroblastic anemia p. 427

treatment p. 249

Memory loss

lead poisoning p. 432


for lead poisoning p. 249

Sideroblastic anemia p. 424, 427

lead poisoning p. 427


lead poisoning p. 427

Wrist drop

lead poisoning p. 427


Lead poisoning is a medical condition caused by accumulation of lead in the body. Lead is a toxin that can accumulate in the body and damage almost every organ and system. Early symptoms of lead poisoning include irritability, difficulty sleeping, and loss of appetite. As the level of lead in the blood increases, more serious symptoms develop, including abdominal pain, vomiting, seizures, and coma.


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