Burtonian line (Lead line)

  • Burtonian line, also known as lead line is a clinical manifestation of chronic lead poisoning
  • It is a stippled blue line seen in 50-70% of patients with chronic lead poisoning
  • It is manifested as a bluish black line due to epidermal deposition of lead sulphate at the junction of the gums with the teeth (not seen on the teeth)
  • Similar pigmented lines are seen in poisoning with mercury, copper, silver, bismuth and iron poisoning
  • Other features of chronic lead poisoning include pallor (anemia), constipation, paralysis and lead encephalopathy
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