The aim of this study was to determine the concentration of Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb in scalp hair of leukaemia patients and healthy volunteers, using the optimised XRF method. Leukaemia hair samples were classifi ed corresponding to type, growth and age of the participants. The results showed that the studied trace elements (TEs) in both of leukaemia and control groups were positively skewed. In comparison with the control group, lower Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb and higher of Ni medians were found in all studied leukaemia patients. The median rank obtained by Mann-Whitney U-test revealed insignifi cant differences between the leukaemia patients subgroups and the controls. An exact probability (α < 0.05) associated with the U-test showed signifi cant differences between medians in leukaemia patients and controls groups for Pb (lymphatic/control, acute/control), Cu (lymphatic/control, chronic/control), Ni (lymphatic/control, chronic/control) and Fe (chronic/control). Very strong positive and negative correlations (r > 0.70) in the scalp hair of control group were observed between Ni/Fe-Ni, Cu/Fe-Cu, Zn/Fe-Zn, Pb/Fe-Pb, Cu/Ni-Zn/Ni, Cu/Ni-Pb/Ni, Zn/Ni-Pb/Ni, Zn/Fe-Zn/Cu, Pb/Ni-Ni and Ni/Fe-Pb/Ni, whereas only very strong positive ratios in the scalp hair of leukaemia patients group were observed between Ni/Fe-Ni, Cu/Fe-Cu, Zn/Fe-Zn and Pb/Fe-Pb, all correlations were signifi cant at p < 0.05. Other strong and signifi cant correlations were also observed in scalp hair of both groups. Signifi cant differences between grouping of studied TEs in all classifi ed leukaemia groups and controls were found using principal component analysis (PCA). The results of PCA confi rmed that the type and the growth of leukaemia factors were more important in element loading than the age factor.
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