Barium

Optimal Result: 0 - 6.7 ug/g creat.

BARIUM SOURCES:

Radiologic testing contrast, paint, bricks, ceramics, glass and rubber. Air, water, and food. Fish and aquatic organisms can accumulate barium.

BARIUM NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS:

Barium toxicity can induce severe hypokalemia.

References:

- ATSDR. Public Health Statement for Barium. Toxic Substances Portal 2007; https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/PHS/PHS. asp?id=325&tid=57, 2020.

- JoshiN,SharmaCS,Sai,SharmaJP.Acutebariumintoxicationfollowingingestionofsoapwatersolution.IndianJCritCare Med.2012;16(4):238-240.

- McNeill IR, Isoardi KZ. Barium poisoning: an uncommon cause of severe hypokalemia. Toxicol Commun. 2019;3(1):88-90.

- ATSDR. Medical Management Guidelines for Barium (Elemental) and Selected Barium Compounds. Toxic Substances Portal 2014; https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mmg/mmg.asp?id=321&tid=57, 2020.

What does it mean if your Barium result is too high?

BARIUM PHYSIOLOGIC EFFECTS:

- Barium is excreted mainly in feces and urine within 1-2 weeks. Can deposit in bones and teeth.

- Barium is a competitive potassium channel antagonist blocking the passive efflux of intracellular potassium. Barium toxicity can cause hypokalemia.

BARIUM CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE:

- Barium compounds that do not dissolve well in water, such as barium sulfate, are generally not harmful.

- Water soluble forms can cause cardiac dysrhythmias, GI disturbances, muscular weakness, vomiting.

- Electrolyte abnormalities can induce cardiac dysrhythmia, muscle cramping/paralysis, and vomiting. Nephropathy is also possible based on direct renal toxicity.

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