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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 85  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51--55

Toenail concentrations of zinc, selenium and nickel in patients with chronic recurrent warts: A pilot two-group comparative study

1 Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Egyptian Health Insurance Organization, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rania Abdel Hay
13th Abrag Othman, Kournish El Maadi, Cairo 11431
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_861_17

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Background: Normal immune functioning requires sufficient levels of trace elements including zinc and selenium, while elements such as nickel can be immunotoxic. Aim: To assess long-term abnormalities in zinc, selenium and nickel levels in patients with chronic recurrent warts. Methods: Toenail samples were taken from 28 patients with chronic recurrent warts and 30 apparently healthy matching controls were analysed. Toenail concentrations of zinc, selenium and nickel were measured using inductively-coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. Results: Selenium levels were significantly higher in patients than in controls (P = 0.03). Levels of trace elements did not correlate with the number or duration of warts. Toenail nickel levels in all subjects were higher than globally reported values. Limitations: A small sample size and the absence of regional reference ranges for concentrations of trace elements in toenails. Conclusion: Zinc does not seem to be involved in the chronicity of warts, and it is unclear if selenium has a protective role against warts. Our finding of high concentrations of nickel in both patients and controls raises concerns about environmental exposure.


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Online since 15th March '04
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