Allergological and toxicological aspects in a multiple chemical sensitivity cohort

Paolo D. Pigatto, Claudio Minoia, Anna Ronchi, Lucia Brambilla, Silvia M. Ferrucci, Francesco Spadari, Manuela Passoni, Francesco Somalvico, Gian Paolo Bombeccari, Gianpaolo Guzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic condition characterized by an exaggerated response to toxicants. We ascertained the prevalence of allergy to metals and toxicological aspects in MCS patients. Methods. We conducted a retrospective review of medical records of 41 patients with MCS. We performed patch testing (n = 21) for dental series and did lymphocyte transformation test (n = 18) for metals. We measured mercury in samples of blood (n = 19), urine (n = 19), saliva (n = 20), and scalp hair (n = 17) to investigate the association between mercury levels and cases of MCS. Results. The prevalence of metal immune hypersensitivity in a subset of 26 patients was 92.3 percent. Elevations of mercury occurred in 81.2 percent (26 of 32). The mean (±SD) in blood concentrations of mercury was 7.6 ± 13.6 g/L; mean in urine was 1.9 ± 2.5 g/L; mean in scalp hair was 2.2 ± 2.5 g/g; mean in saliva was 38.1 ± 52.1 g/L. Subgroup analyses showed that elevation of mercury levels in biological matrices were associated with mercury amalgams in patients with MCS (22 patients), compared with controls (8 patients) (odds ratio 11: 95 percent confidence interval 1.5 to 81.6; P = 0.023). Conclusions. Our data show an increased prevalence of metal allergy and elevation of mercury levels in bioindicators among patients with MCS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number356235
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry


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