Pediatric Radiology > Musculoskeletal > Metabolic Diseases > Lead Poisoning

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning occurs most commonly in children less than two years of age. The underlying etiology is often consumption of lead-containing substances including old paint chips. Radiographically, affected patients may have broad sclerotic metaphyseal bands (lead lines) best shown in areas of rapid growth including the knees and wrists. Normal variants can also possess dense metaphyseal bands, but these tend to not involve the proximal fibula. In cases of lead poisoning, all metaphyses are involved including the fibula.

Sclerotic Metaphyseal Bands Involving Bilateral Knees
Lead poisoning in a 3-year-old male. Classic radiographic evidence of lead poisoning with sclerotic metaphyseal bands involving the knees (left) and wrists (right) bilaterally. On the left image, note the involvement of both proximal fibulas.

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