Author(s): Zhou W, Liang Y, Christiani DC
We performed a meta-analysis to determine the most sensitive subtests of the WHO Neurobehavioral Core Test Battery (NCTB) when administered to Chinese workers. Extensive Chinese Biological Medical Database and MEDLINE searches, review of cited references, and discussion with other investigators were undertaken. Data were extracted from 39 eligible studies; the summary effects (effect sizes) were calculated using a fixed-effect model. Various exposure agents showed different sensitivities to the seven subtests of NCTB. For mercury-exposure, the Benton Visual Retention was the most sensitive subtest, with an effect size (95% CI) of 6.0 (4.4-7.6). For lead-exposure, the most sensitive subtests were the Pursuit Aiming II and Profile of Mood States, with effect sizes (95% CI) of 11.3 (8.3-14.3) and 10.6 (7.5-13.7), respectively. For organic solvents-exposure, Digit Span, Pursuit Aiming II, and Digit Symbol were the most sensitive subtests, with effect sizes (95- CI) of 4.7 (3.3-6.1), 4.6 (3.1-6.1), and 4.1 (2.7-5.5), respectively.