Don’t administer a chelating agent prior to testing urine for metals, a practice referred to as “provoked” urine testing.
Metals are ubiquitous in the environment and all individuals are exposed to and store some quantity of metals in the body. These do not necessarily result in illness. Scientific studies demonstrate that administration of a chelating agent leads to increased excretion of various metals into the urine, even in healthy individuals without metal-related disease. These “provoked” or “challenge” tests of urine are not reliable means to diagnose metal poisoning and have been associated with harm.
These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.
The American College of Medical Toxicology’s (ACMT’s) Board of Directors established a Choosing Wisely® work group in 2013 to develop a list of items for the Choosing Wisely® campaign. Members of the work group were chosen to represent various practice settings within the field of medical toxicology, including ambulatory, acute and population-based practice. Work group members included the President of the College, the Chair of the Practice Committee, the Chair of the Positions and Guidelines committee and other academic leaders within the medical toxicology community. All work group members also represented the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT). The first list was released by the work group in 2013 and in 2014, the work group reconvened to develop a second list of items for the campaign. A second preliminary list was disseminated to all members of ACMT and AACT for review, commentary and potential additions. Additional feedback was solicited from leaders within the field of medical toxicology. The work group reviewed all responses, and narrowed the list to the final five items based on a review of scientific evidence, relevance to the specialty and greatest opportunity to improve care, reduce cost and reduce harm to patients.The final list was approved by the ACMT Board of Directors and the AACT Board of Trustees.
Charlton N, Wallace KL. American College of Medical Toxicology position statement on post-chelator challenge urinary metal testing. American College of Medical Toxicology; 2009 Jun [cited 2013 Apr 23]. Available from: http://www.acmt.net/cgi/page.cgi/zine_service.html?aid=2999&zine=show.
Risher JF, Amler SN. Mercury exposure: evaluation and intervention the inappropriate use of chelating agents in the diagnosis and treatment of putative mercury poisoning. Neurotoxicology. 2005 Aug;26(4):691–9.