Thallium Stress Test: What is it?
A thallium stress test (TST) is a procedure used to detect if someone has ingested or absorbed high levels of the toxic metal thallium. A person’s level of exposure depends on several factors such as their age, how much they have eaten recently, and other factors. If there are high levels of thallium in the body then this could indicate poisoning from some type of substance.
The TST involves exposing a patient to small amounts of thallium chloride solution over time until the concentration reaches lethal levels. This may take days, weeks, months or even years depending on the amount of exposure and the individual’s health status.
What are Thallium Levels?
There are two types of thallium: natural thallium found naturally in soil and rocks; and man-made thallium which is manufactured into products like pills or inhalers. Natural thallium is not very dangerous but man-made thallium is extremely poisonous.
In humans, the average human body contains about 0.5 micrograms of thallium per gram of blood (0.00001 milligrams per kilogram).
However, this number varies greatly among individuals due to genetic makeup and environmental exposures.
Thallium is classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a “relatively toxic chemical” due to its low threshold for causing toxic effects in humans.
What are the Benefits of a Thallium Stress Test?
The TST can help determine if someone has ingested or absorbed high levels of thallium. If this is the case then it is very important to get treatment immediately.
If you are worried that you may have ingested or absorbed high levels of thallium then seeing a health care provider is recommended. They will be able to determine the right course of treatment based on your situation and tests results.
If you suspect that another individual has ingested or absorbed high levels of thallium then it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
Who Should Not Undergo a Thallium Stress Test?
The TST is not suitable for everyone. Your health care provider will be able to advise if you are suitable for this test based on your medical history and current condition.
What are the Risks and Side Effects of a Thallium Stress Test?
There are some risks involved with the TST. The most common side effect is an allergic reaction due to thallium exposure. This side effect can come in many different forms which can include: skin rash, breathing difficulties, swelling, and even death.
What Does a Thallium Stress Test Involve?
The patient will be given a solution which contains thallium. The patient will then have their vital signs monitored to check for any changes. Blood and urine samples may also be taken to check for thallium levels. These tests are repeated over a period of several hours or until the maximum safe dose is reached. It may take multiple days before testing can be completed.
Before the TST can be carried out, the patient will have to fast for a set amount of time before hand. The health care provider will advise how long for, depending on the reason for testing and the results from previous tests.
What are the Requirements Needed to Undergo a Thallium Stress Test?
There are no requirements needed in order to undergo this test. Anyone who is concerned about possible thallium poisoning and their potential exposure can have this test performed.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of a Thallium Stress Test?
Insurance will not cover the cost of this test as it is not a necessity, however your insurance may cover the cost of any diagnosis. It is advised to contact your insurance company before having this test performed to find out what coverage you have if any.
How Do I Get A Thallium Stress Test?
You must first visit your doctor or health care provider and let them know you would like to have a thallium stress test. They will be able to give you a prescription for the test or advise of where you may be able to get the test if they do not provide this service.
What Should I Look For In A Thallium Stress Test Facility?
When looking for a facility to perform this test, be sure it is approved by the FDA. The facility itself should also be able to provide certificates showing it is following the recommended guidelines for testing and has passed all inspections to ensure full compliance with health and safety regulations.
What Are Some Thallium Stress Test Horror Stories?
Whilst TSTs are rarely performed, and even more rarely needed, in some cases thallium poisoning can be fatal if not treated immediately.
One such case involved a sixteen-year-old girl who went into a coma after an overdose of diet pills she bought over the counter. She had been taking the pills in an attempt to lose weight, and according to her mother, was becoming more and more distant and withdrawn before she was found unconscious in her room.
A thallium stress test was ordered and it was discovered that she had between twenty and fifty times the lethal dose of thallium in her system.
Given that thallium is a toxin and can be fatal in larger amounts, medical professionals should always be aware of the risk of thallium toxicity when performing a TST on a patient.
What is the Thallium Stress Test?
The thallium stress test is a way for medical professionals to screen patients for thallium poisoning. It works by measuring the amount of thallium that has been absorbed into the patient’s body tissues. This is done by taking a small amount of blood and measuring the thallium content.
The test works by injecting a patient with a small amount of thallium. The patient’s blood is then periodically tested for the presence of thallium.
When the thallium is injected, it displaces any existing thallium that has already been stored in the body. This allows medical professionals to measure just how much thallium has been absorbed into the patient’s body tissue.
Thallium stress tests are usually only performed in cases where there is some suspicion that the patient may have been exposed to thallium.
In most cases, a thallium stress test is performed after the patient has shown symptoms of thallium poisoning. The most common symptom of thallium poisoning is hair loss, followed by disturbed vision, nausea or vomiting, ringing in the ears, and finally a blue-gray discoloration of the skin.
What is Thallium?
Thallium is a heavy metal that has Applications in electronics, anti-fouling paints, and other industrial uses.
It is also known as Tl, and it is very toxic. It may be found in the environment near factories or industrial plants that use it in manufacturing.
It is no longer used in farming due to its extreme toxicity, but it still continues to be used in electronics for some reason.
Thallium poisoning is also found in industrial waste. In 2008, there was a thallium poisoning outbreak in Russia caused by contaminated vodka.
The tragedy killed one hundred people and sickened several thousand more. In this case, the victims were exposed to thallium after a nearby factory where thallium was produced accidentally dumped its waste into the local water supply, which was then used to make vodka.
Is the Thallium Stress Test Accurate?
The thallium stress test is not a very reliable way to determine whether or not a person has been poisoned with thallium. This is because it can only detect thallium that has already been absorbed into the body. It is unable to detect any thallium that a person is currently exposed to.
Sources & references used in this article:
Dipyridamole-thallium imaging: the lazy man’s stress test. by JA Leppo – Journal of Nuclear Medicine: Official Publication …, 1989 – europepmc.org
Improved diagnostic accuracy of thallium-201 stress test using multiple observers and criteria derived from interobserver analysis of variance by RD Okada, CA Boucher, HK Kirshenbaum… – The American journal of …, 1980 – Elsevier
Prognostic significance of silent myocardial ischemia on a thallium stress test by LI Heller, M Tresgallo, RR Sciacca, DK Blood… – The American journal of …, 1990 – Elsevier