Mees' lines

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Mee's lines
Mees line.JPG
ICD-10 L60.
ICD-9 703.8

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Synonyms and Keywords: Mee's lines; Aldrich-Mees' lines


Mees' lines are lines of discoloration across the nails of the fingers and toes after an episode of poisoning with arsenic or thallium or other heavy metals.[1] 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.

Historical Perspective

Although the phenomenon is named after the Dutch physician R.A. Mees, earlier descriptions of the same abnormality were made by the Englishman E.S. Reynolds and the American C.J. Aldrich in 1901 and 1904, respectively.[2]


Associated Conditions


Common Causes


Physical Examination

The following image shows an example of the white bands present on the nails of a person with Mees' lines.

Image shown below is courtesy of Professor Peter Anderson DVM PhD and published with permission © PEIR, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pathology