Fatal lead encephalopathy following foreign body ingestion: Case report

C. David Hugelmeyer, John Moorhead, Lindsey Horenblas, Marc J. Bayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


A 23-month-old female child presented to an emergency department with a mild, nonspecific gastrointestinal illness and periodic fussiness and irritability; the initial physical examination was nonfocal and nondiagnostic. Rapid decompensation quickly ensued. Postmortem examination of hematologic laboratory data and reevaluation of radiographs showed a metallic foreign body in the stomach. Diagnosis of rapidly fatal lead encephalopathy was confirmed by finding toxic serum lead and elevated delta-aminolevulinic (ALA) levels in postmortem blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-400
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1988



  • encephalopathy
  • foreign body ingestion
  • lead toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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