Mees' lines

Mees' lines
Mees' lines
Classification and external resources
ICD-9 985.1

Mees' lines or Aldrich-Mees' lines are lines of discoloration across the nails of the fingers and toes.



Mees' lines appear after an episode of poisoning with arsenic,[1] thallium or other heavy metals, and can also appear if the subject is suffering from renal failure.[2]


They are typically white bands traversing the width of the nail. As the nail grows they move towards the end, and finally disappear when trimmed.

Eponym and history

Although the phenomenon is named after Dutch physician R.A. Mees, who described the abnormality in 1919,[3] earlier descriptions of the same abnormality were made by Englishman E.S. Reynolds in 1901[4] and by American C.J. Aldrich in 1904.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Hall AH (2002). "Chronic arsenic poisoning". Toxicol. Lett. 128 (1–3): 69–72. doi:10.1016/S0378-4274(01)00534-3. PMID 11869818. 
  2. ^ Udayakumar P, Balasubramanian S, Ramalingam KS, Lakshmi C, Srinivas CR, Mathew AC (2006). "Cutaneous manifestations in patients with chronic renal failure on hemodialysis". Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology 72 (2): 119–25. doi:10.4103/0378-6323.25636. PMID 16707817. 
  3. ^ Mees RA (1919). "Een verschijnsel bij polyneuritis arsenicosa" (in Dutch). Ned Tijdsch Geneeskd 1: 391–396. 
  4. ^ Reynolds ES (1901). "An Account of the Epidemic Outbreak of Arsenical Poisoning occurring in Beer Drinkers in the North of England and the Midland Counties in 1900". Lancet 1 (4038): 166–70. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)81229-0. PMC 2036791. PMID 20896969. 
  5. ^ Aldrich CJ (1904). "Leuconychia striata arsenicalis transversus, with report of three cases". Am J Med Sci 127 (4): 702–709. doi:10.1097/00000441-190412740-00014. 

External links

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