Lead poisoning is a preventable condition that results from environmental exposure to lead. Exposure to lead in the body, as indicated by its elevated blood levels, can lead to permanent damage to almost all parts of the body. However, its effects are more pronounced in the central nervous system and kidneys, causing symptoms ranging from mild learning difficulties and behavioral problems to encephalopathy. Children under the age of 6 are more likely to be exposed and affected by lead.
Blood lead levels are the best test for detecting and evaluating acute and chronic exposure. Blood tests provide information on exposure and on monitoring the effectiveness of treatment. Lead can also be measured in urine, saliva, nails or even hair.
How can one determine if one has been exposed to lead?
We can measure levels of lead in blood and most biological materials.
Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better than conventional atomic absorption, with the ability to measure metals at concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.