A cross-sectional observational study on the effect of usage of chronic arsenic contamination of ground water among residents of Pathalkudwa Mohalla in Ranchi district as reported in a tertiary care centre in Jharkhand

Masuma P Bhengra, Anand Kumar, Prabhat Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Shyam Sundar Chaudhary


Objectives To study the clinical features of chronic arsenicosis on usage of arsenic contaminated ground water among the residents of Pathalkudwa mohalla, Ranchi district.


Material and Methods A cross-sectional observational study was done on 39 patients, all residents from Pathalkudwa mohalla, Ranchi, clinically suspected of arsenic toxicity attending the department of dermatology of a tertiary care centre over a period of one year. Arsenic levels estimation was done in drinking water, urine, hair and nails. Cutaneous markers like hyperpigmentation over trunk, palmoplantar keratosis and Aldrich’s Mees lines were included. Non-residents of Pathalkudwa mohalla were excluded from the study.


Results Among of 39 cases affected by arsenic contamination, 20 (51.3%) cases were females and 19 (48.7%) were males.  Most of the women were housewives by occupation followed by office job persons and students. Among various clinical features, tingling and numbness of extremities (84%) were the most common complaint followed by weakness (79%) and pain abdomen (74%). Palmoplantar keratosis (90%) was seen in majority of patients followed by raindrop pigmentation (48%), diffuse hyperpigmentation (28%) and Aldrich Mee’s lines (3%). No signs of cutaneous malignancy was seen in any of the patient.


Conclusion Hyperkeratosis of palms and soles and skin hyperpigmentation were the most common cutaneous manifestations of chronic arsenicosis.



Arsenicosis, palmo-plantar hyperkeratosis, raindrop pigmentation

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