Mercuric chloride poisoning: symptoms, analysis, therapies, and autoptic findings. A review of the literature.Crit Rev Toxicol 2019; 49(4):329-341CR
Among mercury-related intoxications, the re-emerging of mercuric chloride poisoning has been recently described in literature. Only sparse data, reporting the clinical symptoms, the anatomo-pathological findings, the analytical procedures or the treatment have been published and no exhaustive analysis of all these factors exists in literature. The classic symptoms associated with toxicity of mercuric chloride is a combination of renal, gastrointestinal (GI) and central nervous system (CNS) damages, eventually leading to death. Fatalities related to exposure to mercuric chloride have been reported since the nineteenth century. To date, there have been 45 published cases in the medical literature in which the intoxication or the death is attributed to mercuric chloride. In this review, we will describe the modern medical treatments, with particular attenztion to the developments of the lasts two decades, in order to provide an exhaustive description of the clinical symptoms, the post-mortem findings, and the analytical procedures to act out when mercuric chloride intoxication occurs. The analysis of the data obtained permitted us to accurately describe all the organs and apparatus involved in mercuric chloride intoxication. The target organs were the kidneys, the GI tract and the CNS. A description of the analytical procedures for the determination of mercuric chloride in biological materials, to carry out in vivo and in post-mortem samples has also been described.