Introduction An endemic peripheral vascular disease called blackfoot disease is suffered by a large number of inhabitants on the southwest coast of Taiwan (1 --6). The disease has an insidious onset with numbness or coldness as the initial symptom. It progresses with the development of localized ulceration and subsequent gangrenous changes, giving the characteristic black coloration of dry gangrene. Most patients are permanently maimed as a result of spontaneous or artificial amputation of a portion of the affected extremity (7). Blackfoot disease is thought to be related to the presence in artesian drinking water of high concentrations of arsenic, silicate, copper, nickel and certain fluorescent compounds, with arsenic as the primary suspect (8-18). Patients with advanced clinical symptoms should therefore have a high concentration of blood arsenic, but our preliminary results showed a decrease of Eur. J. Clin. Chem. Clin. Biochem. / Vol. 31,1993 / No. 11 arsenic in the advanced stages. In order to assess this situation, we determined arsenic, iron, selenium, zinc and copper in blood samples from blackfoot disease patients in different clinical stages. The results indicate a probable antagonistic effect between arsenic and selenium. Materials and Methods Blood samples One hundred and thirteen blood
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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