Comparison of trace elements in the scalp hair of malignant and benign breast lesions versus healthy women.Biol Trace Elem Res 2010; 134(2):160-73BT
Trace elements including Al, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sr, and Zn were analyzed in the scalp hair samples of women with malignant breast lesions, women with benign breast lesions, and healthy donors using atomic absorption spectrophotometric method. In the scalp hair of malignant-tumor patients, the highest average concentration was shown by Ca (1,187 microg/g), followed by Na (655 microg/g), Mg (478 microg/g), Zn (391 microg/g), Sr (152 microg/g), Fe (114 microg/g), and K (89.8), while in the case of benign-tumor patients, the average estimated element levels were 1,522, 1,093, 572, 457, 217, 80.4, and 74.7 microg/g, respectively. Most of the elements exhibited non-normal distribution evidenced by large spread, standard error, and skewness values. Mean concentrations of Ca (634 microg/g), Zn (206 microg/g), Mg (162 microg/g), Fe (129 microg/g), and Na (82.1 microg/g) were noteworthy in the scalp hair of healthy women. Average levels of Na, Sr, K, Cd, Co, Pb, Mg, Ca, Zn, Ni, Sb, and Mn were revealed to be significantly higher in the hair of malignant and benign patients compared to the healthy women; however, Fe, Cu, Al, and Cr were not significantly different in the scalp hair of the three groups. The quartile distributions of Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Sr revealed maximum spread in the scalp hair of malignant and benign groups; nevertheless, Al, Cu, Fe, and Zn exhibited almost comparable quartile levels in the three groups. Strong correlation coefficients were found between Fe and Cd, Al and Na, Mn and Sr, Co and Cr, Cd and Cr, Pb and K, Pb and Mn, Cu and Na, and Al and Fe in the scalp hair of malignant-tumor patients, while Fe and K, Cd and Co, Na and Co, and Cr and Pb showed strong correlations in the scalp hair of benign-tumor patients, both of which were significantly different compared with the healthy subjects. Multivariate cluster analysis also revealed divergent clustering of the elements in the scalp hair of malignant and benign patients in comparison with the healthy women.