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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology

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Volume 9(1); 2011
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Toxicologic Review of the Dietary Supplements Glucosamine and Chitosan
Ji-Young You
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(1):1-7.   Published online June 30, 2011
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Recently, westernized diet and lifestyles have led to obesity and various adult diseases resulting in a negative influence on the quality of life. There has been an increased interest in choosing proper diet and regular exercise in order to lead a healthy life. The number of people looking for dietary supplements has increased steadily. Dietary supplements are products intended to help maintain or improve the health of consumers. However, if customers take dietary supplements excessively, they may be harmful due to side effects, misuse, abuse and overdose. I performed a toxicologic review of the dietary supplements, glucosamine and chitosan, which are widely used in the country in order to provide the proper understanding of safety of these products.
Atypical Clinical Course of after Glyphosate Herbicide Intoxication
Yong-Won Kim, Hyun Kim, Kyoung-Chul Cha, Hyung-Jin Shin, Yong-Sung Cha, Kang-Hyun Lee, Sung-Oh Hwang
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(1):8-13.   Published online June 30, 2011
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Purpose: Although glyphosate-surfactant herbicide intoxication is relatively mild toxic in humans, we encountered an atypical clinical presentation. We performed this study to understand the atypical clinical course and factors associated with severe intoxication after glyphosate ingestion. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 61 patients (male 43, mean age $54{pm}18.8$ years) who were presented with glyphosate ingestion between March 1997 and March 2011. The severe intoxication group was defined as patients with systolic blood pressure less than 90 mmHg, respiratory distress needing intubation, or altered mental state. Results: Of the 61 patients, 22 patients (36.1%) had a severe clinical course, 1 patient (1.6%) had died and 1 patient (1.6%) had moribund discharge. The most common symptoms were nausea with or without vomiting which occurred in 30 patients (49.2%). Twenty-seven patients had metabolic acidosis that was the second most common medical complication. Advanced age, pH, base excess, $HCO_3$, Sat, creatinine, X-ray abnormalities and ECG abnormalities were significant factors. Hemoglobin, platelet, $pO_2$, $pCO_2$, BUN, sodium, potassium and AST levels were not different comparing the laboratory characteristics between the severe and mild intoxication groups. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that severe intoxication occurred in 22 patients (36.1%) after glyphosate intoxication. Advanced age, pH, base excess, $HCO_3$, Sat, creatinine, X-ray abnormality and ECG abnormalities were significant predictive factors for severe intoxication in patients with glyphosate surfactant herbicide poisoning.
Veiled Paraquat Poisoning - A Focus on Clinical Characteristics
Ye-Wan Song, Sang-Cheon Choi, Young-Yeol You, Yeoun-Ho Shin, Eun-Jung Park, Jung-Hwan Ahn, Young-Gi Min, Yoon-Seok Jung
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(1):14-19.   Published online June 30, 2011
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Purpose: Most paraquat poisonings are easily diagnosed by history taking on physical examination, however, some are failed to be diagnosed initially if the poisoning was veiled. The purpose of this study was to explore the clinical characteristics of veiled paraquat poisoning. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients whose discharge diagnosis was paraquat poisoning in one university teaching hospital between 1 Jan, 2001 and 31 Dec, 2010. Veiled paraquat poisoning was determined when there was a positive urine paraquat kit in patients who did not mention paraquat poisoning in an initial physical examination or had unknown cause of pulmonary fibrosis, acute renal failure, or multi-organ failure. Results: Of the 117 patients with paraquat poisoning during the study period, 6 patients (5.1%) had veiled paraquat poisoning. The clinical characteristics were 1) proteinuria - 6 (100%), 2) increased creatinine - 4 (66.7%), 3) green skin stains - 2 (33.3%), 4) mucosal ulcer - 3 (50%). Blood chemistry results were variable. Conclusion: We should suspect veiled paraquat poisoning for patients who have proteinuria, increased creatinine, green skin stain, mucosal ulcer and vomiting, or if they have rapidly progressing acute renal failure or multi-organ failure with unknown cause, even if patients didn't mention about paraquat poisoning upon the initial physical examination. In cases with the above clinical conditions, a thorough repeated physical examination including history taking and use of urine paraquat kits should be performed.
Cardiac Toxicity Following a Diphenhydramine Overdose
Sung-Jun Park, Jong-Hak Park, In-Kyung Um, Kyung-Ae Park, Do-Hyoun Kim, Su-Jin Kim, Sung-Woo Lee, Yun-Sik Hong
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(1):20-25.   Published online June 30, 2011
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Purpose: This study was designed to analyze the contributing factors, as well as the incidence and nature of the cardiac toxicity, in patients presenting with diphenhydramine overdose. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of the intoxicated patients who presented to the ED of Korea University Anam Hospital from January 2008 to December 2010. Those patients who visited due to a diphenhydramine overdose were selected and the following features were recorded for analysis: the general characteristics, vital signs, the amount of ingested diphenhydramine, the time interval from ingestion to presentation, the coingested drugs (if any), the toxicities and the ECG findings. Cardiac toxicity, while defined mainly in terms of the temporary ECG changes such as QTc prolongation, right axis deviation, QRS widening, high degree AV block and ischemic changes, also encompassed cardiogenic shock, which is a clinical finding. Results: A total of eighteen patients were enrolled. Of the eighteen patients, eight had ingested diphenhydramine only, while ten had ingested other drugs in addition to diphenhydramine. The most commonly observed toxicity following diphenhydramine overdose included cardiac toxicity (78%). Cardiac toxicity was observed in all the patients who presented to the emergency department 2 hours after ingestion. The patients with QTc prolongation turned out to have ingested significantly larger amounts of diphenhydramine. Conclusion: QTc prolongation and right axis deviation were common findings for the patients with a diphenhydramine overdose. QTc prolongation was more likely to occur with ingesting larger amounts of diphenhydramine. Close monitoring is mandatory for patients who have ingested large amounts of diphenhydramine to prevent such potentially lethal cardiac toxicity.
Availability of Toxicologic Screening Tests in the Emergency Department
In-Kyung Um, Jong-Su Park, Kap-Su Han, Han-Jin Cho, Sung-Hyuck Choi, Sung-Woo Lee, Yun-Sik Hong
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(1):26-29.   Published online June 30, 2011
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Purpose: The role of a point of care test (POCT) is currently becoming important when treating patients and making decisions in the emergency department. It also plays a role for managing patients presenting with drug intoxication. But the availability of the test has not yet been studied in Korea. Therefore, we investigated the utility and the availability of POCT for drug screening used in the emergency department. Methods: This was a retrospective study for those patients with drug intoxication between January 2007 and December 2010 in an urban emergency department. Results: Between the study period, 543 patients were examined with a Triage$^{(R)}$-TOX Drug Screen. Among those, 248 (45.7%) patients showed negative results and 295 (54.3%) patients showed positive results. The sensitivity of the test for benzodiazepine, acetaminophen and tricyclic antidepressants were 85.9%, 100%, 79.2%, respectively. Conclusion: POCT of drug screening in emergency department showed good accuracy especially in patient with benzodiazepine, acetaminophen and tricyclic antidepressant intoxication. Therefore, it can be useful diagnostic tool for the management of intoxicated patients.
A Case of Acute Respiratory Failure After Trichloroethylene Inhalation
Jae-Seok Park, Young-Woo Jeon, Young-Il Kim, Hyo-Wook Gil, Jong-Oh Yang, Eun-Young Lee, Sae-Yong Hong
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(1):30-33.   Published online June 30, 2011
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Trichloroethylene (TCE, $C_2HCl_3$), which was introduced as a gas for general anesthesia and analgesia in early 1900's has been widely used in industry as an organic solvent. Occupational exposure to TCE is an important medical problem. Manifestations of acute exposure to TCE include mucocutaneous irritation, hepatotoxicity, cognitive impairment, sleep, headache, respiratory insufficiency and death. We report a 38-year-old man who was admitted to a department of emergency medicine after occupational inhalation exposure to TCE. He rapidly developed semicoma and respiratory depression. After mechanical ventilation, hypercapnea and hypoxemia disappeared and his mental state again became alert. Careful evaluation and proper respiratory support are important for respiratory failure after occupational TCE inhalation.
Corrosive Injury Due to Edible Vinegar
Do-Hyoun Kim, Sung-Woo Lee, In NamGung, Jong-Hak Park, Su-Jin Kim, Yun-Sik Hong
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(1):34-38.   Published online June 30, 2011
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Vinegar is a very popular ingredient used in many cuisines. It is also known for its beneficial health, beauty and possible weight-loss properties. The authors report on a patient who presented to the emergency department with unstable vital signs complaining of generalized abdominal pain after ingestion of 450 ml of apple cider vinegar. We documented a case of corrosive gastrointestinal injury with persistent metabolic acidosis occurring after ingesting apple cider vinegar with an acetic acid concentration of 12~14%. Toxic damage to the liver and kidney were also observed, peaking on post-ingestion day 3. The patient received supportive care and hemoperfusion for three days without much clinical improvement and died in the seventh day of intensive care due to disseminated intravascular coagulation and multi organ failure. Edible vinegar, when taken in large amounts, is capable of inducing corrosive injuries of the GI tract as well as severe systemic toxicities, such as metabolic acidosis. Safety precautions regarding vinegar deserve more public attention and clinicians also should be astute enough to recognize the potential damage accompanying vinegar ingestion.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology