Elemental mercury-induced subcutaneous granuloma. A case report and review of the literature.

Published online: Jun 27 2003

Kayias EH, Drosos GI, Hapsas D, Anagnostopoulou GA.

2nd Orthopaedic Department, Naval Hospital of Athens, Greece.


The authors report a case of suicidal elemental mercury injection in the antecubital fossa, resulting in granuloma formation, which was treated with delayed resection. A 21-year-old man presented with a granuloma in the antecubital fossa after a suicide attempt by self-injection of elemental mercury. The patient was treated surgically with excision of the necrotic skin and granuloma under X-ray guidance, with good result. Despite the fact that human exposure to mercury has been ongoing for centuries, the deposition of metallic mercury into the skin and subcutaneous tissue, causing cutaneous granuloma formation is uncommon, with fewer than 100 reports presented in the dermatologic, toxicologic and general medical literature. On the contrary, there is a lack of reports of this soft-tissue injury in the orthopaedic literature.