The thallium blood test is used to detect the traces of thallium present in the blood. This test helps to detect thallium toxicity or thallium poisoning.
What is Thallium?
Thallium is a bluish-white metal found in the earth’s crust in trace amounts. It is also obtained as a by-product from melting some other metals. Thallium is odorless and tasteless when it is in its pure form. It appears colorless or white or yellow when combined with other substances like iodine, chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc. It is useful in manufacturing electronic devices, switches, closures, etc and for semiconductor industries. It has very limited use in the manufacturing of special glass and for a few medical procedures.
What is Thallium toxicity?
Thallium toxicity may happen by eating food which is contaminated with thallium or smoking cigarettes, by breathing air from the industries that release thallium, living in areas where hazardous waste sites are contaminated with thallium, children eating soil that may be contaminated with thallium, etc. The thallium toxicity may vary depending on the severity, type and exposure time. During this condition, gastrointestinal, dermatological and neurological symptoms are observed. Within the first 3-4 hours of exposure, the gastrointestinal symptoms observed are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, very rarely blood in the vomit or stools is observed. The symptoms seen after 2-5 days are pain and paraesthesias of the hands and lower extremities, especially the soles of the feet, distal motor weakness occurs where lower limbs are more affected than the upper limbs. Other symptoms like tremor, ataxia, athetosis, headache, cranial nerve palsies, seizures, insomnia, coma, and death may also occur. Ocular symptoms like diplopia, abnormal color vision, impairment of visual activity, skin lesions on the lid, nystagmus (involuntary eye movement), ophthalmoplegia (weakness of the eye muscles), etc. Very rarely dermatological symptoms like scaling of the palms and soles, eruptions on the face, hair loss, painful glossitis with redness on the tip of the tongue, etc.
Why this test is recommended?
This test may be recommended to you if you are suspected of thallium poisoning or thallium toxicity. If you experience any of the above symptoms then your doctor may ask you to undergo this test.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Thallium. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Thallium.
No specific preparation is required for this test.
The test results may vary according to your age, gender, body weight, etc. If the levels of thallium in the blood are elevated then it means you have thallium toxicity. If blood thallium levels are greater then it may indicate severe poisoning with thallium.
|MALE||All age groups||0 - 1 ng/ml|
|FEMALE||All age groups||0 - 1 ng/ml|