To evaluate the subclinical effect of lead exposure, we determined b-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) levels in plasma (ALA-P), blood (ALA-B), and urine (ALA-U) and the activity of b-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in lead workers.
Almost all of the ALA molecules in blood were present in plasma and not in blood cells, irrespective of the blood lead concentration (Pb-B).
ALA-P or ALA-B levels increased slowly at Pb-B levels below 40 mug/dl (slow phase) and rapidly at levels above 40 mug/dl (rapid phase).
In both phases, ALA-P and ALA-B were well correlated with Pb-B and ALAD activity.
The threshold value (no-effect level) of Pb-B for elevation of the ALA-P or ALA-B level was coincident with that for ALAD inhibition ; the value was around 5 mug/dl.
In the rapid phase, ALA-P increased continuously up to 100 mug/dl of Pb-B, while ALAD activity reached a plateau.
Receiver operative characteristic (ROC) plot analyses indicated that ALA-P and ALAD activity [ALAD (u) ] had a similar diagnostic value at Pb-B levels between 10 and 40 mug/dl, although ALAD (%), the remaining ALAD activity as a percentage of the whole activity restored by zinc and dithiothreitol, had the most powerful diagnostic efficiency at these Pb-B levels.
By contrast, ALA-U and zinc protoporphyrin were less effective for the diagnosis of lead exposure than ALAD and ALA-P.
These findings indicate that ALA-P is the best discriminators of lead exposure form baseline to high levels of exposure.
Mots-clés Pascal : Plomb, Métal lourd, Surveillance biologique, Homme, Sang, Plasma sanguin, Urine, Exposition professionnelle, Médecine travail, Marqueur biologique, Aminolévulinique acide
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Lead, Heavy metal, Biological monitoring, Human, Blood, Blood plasma, Urine, Occupational exposure, Occupational medicine, Biological marker
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Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0099640
Code Inist : 002B03L05. Création : 199608.