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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology

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Volume 10(1); 2012
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Cardiac Toxicities Associated with Herbal Remedies
Woo-Jin Jung, Hyun Kim, Yong-Sung Cha, Oh-Hyun Kim, Kyoung-Chul Cha, Kang-Hyun Lee, Sung-Oh Hwang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):1-7.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Purpose: Herbal preparations have long been used for medical purposes by traditional cultures, and their use is increasing in modern societies. However, many herbal agents produce specific cardiovascular toxicities in humans. We performed this study in order to investigate the clinical characteristics of the cardiac toxicities associated with herbal remedies. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 45 patients (mean age $57{pm}10$ years) who presented with cardiotoxicity between January 2007 and May 2011 due to ingestion of herbal remedy substances. Patients were identified as suffering cardiotoxicity if they presented with chest pain, EKG abnormality, and elevation of cardiac enzyme. Results: Of the 45 total cases, 17 included hemodynamic instability (37.8%), 7 with increasing cardiac enzyme (15.6%), 2 with cardiac arrest (4.4%) and one case of mortality (2.2%). The cardiotoxic herb group that demonstrated the worst clinical course was Ranunculaceae. Conclusions: In our study results, 57.6% of the herbal intoxication patients demonstrated the effects of cardiotoxicity. Thus, we recommend careful monitoring of herbal intoxication patients.
Comparison between Emergency Patient Poisoning Cases and the Tox-Info System Database
Hyun-Jong Kim, Yang-Weon Kim, Hyun Kim, Chang-Bae Park, Byung-Hak So, Kyeong-Ryong Lee, Kyung-Woo Lee, Kyung-Won Lee, Sung-Woo Lee, Jang-Young Lee, Gyu-Chong Cho, Jun-Ho Cho, Sung-Phil Chung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):8-14.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Purpose: The Tox-Info system is a poisonous substance information database developed by the Korean National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation. The aim of this study was to estimate the coverage effectiveness of the Tox-Info system by comparing the toxic substances included in the database with the distribution of the toxic substances implicated in the cases of intoxicated patients presenting to emergency departments. The secondary aim of the study was to propose any additional substances that should be added to the database. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients suffering with toxic exposure who had visited any of 12 selected emergency departments in Korea from January 2010 to December 2011. The identified toxic substances were classified into groups including prescription drugs, agricultural chemicals, household products, animals or plants, herbal drugs, and others. We calculated the coverage rate of the Tox-Info database relative to the number of intoxication cases and the type of toxic substances involved. Results: A total of 5,840 intoxicated patient records were collected. Their mean age was $46.6{pm}20.5$ years and 56.2% were female. Of the total intoxication cases, 87.8% of the identified toxic substances were included in the Tox-Info database, while only 41.6% of all of the types of identified toxic substances were included. Broken down by category, 122 prescription drugs, 15 agricultural chemicals, 12 household products, 14 animals or plants and 2 herbal drugs involved in poisoning cases were not included in the Tox-info database. Conclusion: This study demonstrated the clinical usefulness of the Tox-Info system. While 87.8% of the substances involved in the cases were included in the Tox-Info database, the database should be continuously updated in order to include even the most uncommon toxic substances.
Clinical Review of Toxic Alcohol Poisoning Cases in Korea
Nu-Ga Rhee, Sung-Phil Chung, In-Cheol Park, Kyeong-Ryong Lee, Hyun-Jin Kim, Gun-Bea Kim, Young-Soon Cho, In-Ho Kwon, Seung-Whan Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):15-21.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Purpose: Toxic alcohols are responsible for accidental and suicide motivated poisonings, resulting in death or permanent sequelae for the afflicted patients. Major therapeutic modalities in these cases include treatment with alcohol dehydrogenase inhibitors and extracorporeal elimination. There have been a number of case reports of toxic alcohol intoxication in Korea. The purpose of this study was to review the clinical characteristics of patients suffering toxic alcohol intoxication. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients who presented with toxic alcohol intoxication at 8 emergency departments (ED) from Jun 2005 to Nov 2011. Patients who ingested methanol, isopropyl alcohol, ethylene glycol, and other alcohols except ethanol, were included in this study. The clinical characteristics of these patients were analyzed to include anion and osmolar gap, and estimated concentration of alcohol in the body. Results: During the study period, 21 patients were identified who had ingested toxic alcohol (methanol; 12 patients, ethylene glycol; 9 patients). At ED arrival, the mean anion gap was $18.7{pm}6.9$ and the osmolar gap was elevated in 13 patients. Oral and IV ethanol were administrated to 11 patients in order to inhibit alcohol dehydrogenase. Extracorporeal elimination procedures such as hemodialysis were performed in 9 patients. There were no fatalities, but the one patient suffered permanent blindness. Conclusion: This study found that ethylene glycol and methanol were the substances ingested which produced toxic alcohol intoxication. The patients presented with high anion gap metabolic acidosis and were typically treated with oral ethanol and hemodialysis.
Multicenter Survey of Intoxication Cases in Korean Emergency Departments: 2nd Annual Report, 2009
Ae-Jin Sung, Kyung-Woo Lee, Byung-Hak So, Mi-Jin Lee, Hyun Kim, Kyung-Hye Park, Jeong-Bae Park, Seok-Ran Yeom, Seong-Beom Oh, Ji-Young You, Kyung-Won Lee, Byeong-Jo Chun, Young-Joon Kang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):22-32.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the occurrence of toxic exposure cases in Korean emergency centers using a toxic exposure surveillance system-based report form and to provide guidelines for the prevention and treatment of toxic exposures. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of toxic exposure patients who had visited emergency centers from January 2009 to December 2009. Epidemiology data points for the toxic exposure cases included age, gender, type of exposure, number and kind of substances involved, reason and route of poison exposure, management of the patients in the emergency departments, and the clinical outcome. Results: A total of 3,501 patients from 12 emergency departments were enrolled in the study. 50.0% of the total exposure patients were male and 63.0% of the total cases were fatal. Acute intoxication occurred in 91.3% of the total patients and suicidal intent was the most common (43.3%) reason for exposure. The most common route of exposure was ingestion (75.9%). Of the total cases, pesticides were involved in 26.3%, sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics were involved in 22.0%, and bites and envenomations were involved in 15.7%. Conclusion: We provided a database of patients who were admitted to emergency departments after poisoning incidents. We recommend that toxicology professionals develop a classification scheme for toxicants which is adequate for Korean domestic circumstances and initiate a toxic surveillance system for all types of exposures. With support of a psychiatric surveillance system for suicidal patients and establishment of social mediation for pesticide poisoning, major reductions in poison exposures can be achieved.
A Case of Delayed Administration of Naloxone for Morphine Intoxicated Patient
Gun-Bea Kim, Won-Nyung Park, Hong-Du Gu
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):33-36.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Opioids are the one of the most commonly used drugs to control cancer pain all over the world. But, we should not overlook the potential risk of opioid intoxication because they have well-known detrimental side effects. The opioid intoxication can be diagnosed thorough various clinical manifestations. The altered mental status, respiratory depression, and miosis is very representative clinical features although these symptoms don't always appear together. Unfortunately the opioid-toxidrome can be varied. A 42 years old man came to our emergency room after taking about 900 mg morphine sulfate per oral. He was nearly alert and his respiration was normal. Even though his symptoms didn't deteriorated clinically, serial arterial blood gas analysis showed increase in PaCO2. So we decided to use intravenous naloxone. Soon, he was fully awaked and his pupils size was increased. After a continuous infusion of intravenous naloxone for 2 hours, PaCO2 decreased to normal range and his pupil size also returned to normal after 12 hours. Though the levels of serum amylase and lipase increased slightly, his pancreas was normal according to the abdominal computed tomography. He had nausea, vomit, and whole body itching after naloxone continuous infusion, but conservatively treated. We stopped the continuos infusion after 1 day because his laboratory results and physical examinations showed normal. As this case shows, it is very important to prescribe naloxone initially. If you suspect opioid intoxication, we recommend the initial use of naloxone even though a patient has atypical clinical features. In addition, we suggest intranasal administration of naloxone as safe and effective alternative and it's necessary to consider nalmefene that has a longer duration for opioid intoxication.
Grayanotoxin Poisoning from Honey - A Case Report
Gi-Hun Choi, Ki-Cheol You, Soon-Joo Wang, Tae-Jin Park
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):37-40.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Honey is produced by bees from nectar collected from nearby flowers. Sometimes, honey produced from the Rhododendron species is contaminated by Grayanotoxin (GTX) in Nepal and other countries. There have been reports of GTX intoxication, also known as 'mad honey disease', from honey produced in countries other than Korea. The importation of wild honey has been prohibited by the Korean Food and Drug Administration since 2005, yet it is still distributed within Korea by the occasional tourist. We report a case of GTX intoxication from contaminated honey which included the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, general weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, hypotension and sinus bradycardia. By means of infusion with normal saline and atropine sulfate, the patient's condition fully recovered within 8 hours of hospital admission, and she was discharged without any complications.
Three Cases of Cardiac Toxicity after Intake of Symplocarpus Renifolius
Tae-Hoon Kim, Hyun Kim, Oh-Hyun Kim, Yong-Sung Cha, Kyoung-Chul Cha, Kang-Hyun Lee, Sung-Oh Hwang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2012;10(1):41-45.   Published online June 30, 2012
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Recently, some patients have visited the emergency department for treatment of different symptoms of acute poisoning after intake of unidentified herbs, which can be mistaken for wild edible greens, because wild edible greens are good for health and contain vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fibers, and anticancer materials. Winter or early spring, is extremely high, with rapid onset of severe symptoms of poisoning. There have been no reports of poisoning by SymplocarpusRenifolius in Korea, however, we report on three severe cases involving patients who experienced cardiogenic shock with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest discomfort, dizziness, numbness, and general weakness.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology