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Volume 9(2); 2011
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Radiological Accident and Acute Radiation Syndrome
Hyung-Keun Roh
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):39-48.   Published online December 31, 2011
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In mass casualty situation due to radiological accidents, it is important to start aggressive management with rapid triage decisions. External contamination needs immediate decontamination and internal contamination should be treated with special expertise and equipment to prevent the rapid uptake of radionuclides by target organs. Acute radiation syndrome shows a sequence of events that varies with the severity of the exposure. More severe exposures generally lead to more rapid onset of symptoms and severe clinical findings. After the massive exposure, various systems of the body reflect their severe damages that can lead to death within hours or up to several months. The disease progression has classically been divided into four stages: prodromal, latent, manifest illness, and recovery or death. Three characteristic clusters of symptoms including the hematopoietic syndrome, the gastrointestinal syndrome and the cerebrovascular syndrome are all associated with the acute radiation syndrome. The standard medical management of the patients with a potentially survivable radiation exposure includes good medical, surgical and supportive measures. Specific treatment with cytokines and bone marrow transplantation should be considered. The management of internal contamination is much the same as the treatment of poisoning. The standard decontamination should be applied to reduce uptake, and the chelating agents can be administered to enhance the clearance of radioisotopes. Radioactive iodine ($^{131}I$) as one of the nuclear fission products can increase the incidence of thyroid cancer in children. Potential benefit of potassium iodide prophylaxis is greater especially in neonates, infants and small children.
Clinical Features of Acute Acetanilide Herbicide Poisoning
Cheol-Sang Park, Mi-Jin Lee, Seong-Soo Park, Won-Joon Jeong, Hyun-Jin Kim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):49-55.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: Acetanilide has been in widespread use as an amide herbicide compound. However, available data regarding acute human poisoning is scarce. The aim of this study was to analyze the clinical characteristics of acetanilide poisoning in order to identify the risk factors associated with severity. Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study encompassing the period January 2005 to December 2010, including adult ED patients suffering from acetanilide intoxication. Toxicological history, symptoms observed, clinical signs of toxicity, and laboratory test results were collected for each patient. The patients were classified into two groups for analysis, according their poisoning severity score (PSS). Resulting clinical data and prognostic variables were compared between mild-to-moderate poisoning (PSS 1/2 grades), and severe poisonings and fatalities (PSS 3/4 grades). Results: There were a total of 37 patients, including 26 alachlor, 6 s-metolachlor, 4 mefenacet, and 1 butachlor cases. The majority of patients (81.1%) were assigned PSS 1/2 grades. Changes in mental status and observation of adverse neurologic symptoms were more common in the PSS 3/4 group. The median ingested volume of amide herbicide compound was 250 ml (IQR 200-300 ml) in the PSS 3/4 group, and 80 ml (IQR 50-138 ml) in the PSS 1/2 group. Also, the median GCS observed in the PSS 3/4 group was 13 (IQR 10-14), which was markedly low as compared to a median GCS of 15 in the PSS 1/2 group. Overall mortality rate was 5.4%, and profound cardiogenic shock was observed prior to death in all fatalities. Conclusion: When compared to previous reports, acute acetanilide poisoning resulted in relatively moderate severity. The presence of neurologic manifestations, hypotension, lower GCS score, and larger ingested volumes was associated with more serious effects and mortalities.
Clinical Outcome for High-dose Pralidoxime in Treating Organophosphate Intoxication
Kyung-Min Lee, Yoon-Hee Choi, Young-Jin Cheon, Duk-Hee Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):56-60.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: The optimal dose of oximes for use in the treatment of organophosphorus pesticide poisoning has not been conclusively established. In this retrospective study, we assessed the effectiveness of the use of high-dose pralidoxime infusion in treating organophosphorus pesticide poisoning. Methods: From January 1998 to December 2009, 71 patients visited the hospital Emergency Department (ED) as a result of organophosphate pesticide intoxication. All of these patients received an initial bolus of 2 g of pralidoxime as the first step of treatment. Patients who then received continuous infusion of pralidoxime at a dose of 500 mg/hr were entered into study group 1 (low dose), and those treated by continuous infusion of pralidoxime at a dose of 1000 mg/hr were entered into study group 2 (high-dose). Plasma cholinesterase activities for each patient were evaluated at ED arrival and re-evaluated 24 hours after pralidoxime infusion. The effectiveness of the two treatment modalities was gauged by comparing the required duration of mechanical ventilation, time spent in the intensive care unit (ICU) and total time spent in the hospital. Results: The mean duration of mechanical ventilation was $9.98{pm}6.47$ days for group 1 and $4.39{pm}6.44$ days for group 2. The respective mean duration of time spent in ICU and the total number of days in the hospital were $16.38{pm}18.84$ days and $21.87{pm}20.16$ days for group 1, and $7.83{pm}9.99$ days and $11.71{pm}13.53$ days for group 2. Highdose pralidoxime treatment was associated with shorter required durations for mechanical ventilation, ICU and hospital stay. In addition, plasma cholinesterase reactivation rates were higher for those patients receiving high-dose pralidoxime treatment. Conclusion: The results suggest that high-dose pralidoxime treatment has greater efficacy for patients suffering from organophosphorus pesticide poisoning.
Comparison of Severity in Organophosphate Insecticide Poisoning Patients Treated with Tracheostomy
Dae-Hyuk Choo, Yong-Jin Park, Sun-Pyo Kim, Seog-Jung Kim, Soo-Hyung Cho, Nam-Soo Cho
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):61-70.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: This study investigated the effect on survival rate for organophosphate intoxication patients who received trachostomy. This research was conducted to help identify appropriate treatment of patients who received a trachostomy. Methods: This research was retrospectively conducted using the medical records of 141 patients who arrived at the Chosun University Hospital emergency medical center between Jan 2007 and Dec 2010, suffering from organophosphate intoxication. They were placed in two groups including one which received trachostomy as part of their treatment and one that did not. The effect of each variable on mortality was evaluated by regressionanalysis. Results: Of 141 patients with organophosphate intoxication, 105 of them did not tracheostomy and 16 were dead cohorts (15.2%). Their size of pupil was 1mm. Factors such as amount of organophosphate ingested, PAM time after ingestion, average body temperature, arrival time, atropinization time after ingestion, AST/ALT, Bun/Cr all appeared to be significant factors in death cohorts (P<0.05). 36 patients among the total had tracheostomy and 11 ones of them were in dead cohort (30.6%) and their average age was 58 years. The facts affect the state of patients in dead cohort include the amount of intoxication which between $327.27{pm}194.1ml$, performing intubation 686 mins after intubation, reaching to the hospital after 580mins, injecting PAM 744 mins after intoxication, injecting atropine 627 mins after intoxication. The largest cases of patient's state was found to be stupor with 14 patients (38.9%) the level of Cholinesterase in blood appeared to be significant in dead cohort as $391.00{pm}353.9IU/L$ (P<0.05). Conclusion: Further planned studies are necessary on the use of tracheostomy for treatment of poisoning victims, especially those intoxicated by organophosphorus insecticides.
Extended Blood Drug Concentrations in Extended Release Formulated Acetaminophen Overdose Patients
Jin-Ho Bum, Nu-Ga Rhee, Min-Joung Kim, Jung-Suk Park, Hyun-Jong Kim, Sung-Pil Chung, Hahn-Shick Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):71-76.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: The Rumack-Matthew nomogram cannot be applied in managing overdose by extended release (ER) preparation acetaminophen (AAP). This study analyzed the clinical characteristics of ER preparation AAP overdose in order to develop a treatment recommendation. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients presented to the emergency department as a result of AAP overdose from Jan 2008 to Dec 2010. Only those patients who ingested an ER preparation of AAP were included in the study. Their blood AAP concentrations were measured at 4 and 8 hours after ingestion. Clinical variables related to AAP intoxication were analyzed. Results: Of the total 108 AAP overdose patients identified during the 3-year period, 20 suffered specifically with ER preparation AAP overdose. The mean estimated ingestion amount was 167.5 mg/kg. Treatments including gastric lavage, activated charcoal, and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) were performed on 10, 14, and 11 patients, respectively. Hepatotoxicity was diagnosed in only one patient who was then successfully treated with NAC. In another case, blood AAP concentration continued to increase until at least 11-hours after ingestion. Conclusion: This study suggested that blood AAP concentrations associated with ingestion of ER formulations of AAP, may increase in an extended manner. Therefore, multiple sampling and longer periods between samples assessing AAP blood concentration may be required for incidences of extended release overdose.
Association of Prescribed Drug intoxication and Neuropsychiatric history
Hyeon-Jung Kim, Hye-Mi Kim, Ho-Jung Kim, Young-Soon Cho, Myung-Gab Lee, Duck-Ho Jun, Chan-Young Go
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):77-80.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between patients with a neuropsychiatric history and features of their suicide attempt, in order to analyze the risk associated with psychiatrist prescribed drugs Methods: We retrospectively investigated cases of intentional overdose drug ingestion in patients greater than 14 years of age who visited OO emergency medical center between January 1, 2008 and July 31, 2010. We evaluated patient medical records to ascertain their age, sex, neuropsychiatric history, and components of ingested intoxicant. Information regarding any suicide reattempt was obtained after discharge through follow up telephone survey. SPSS version 13.0 was used for statistical analysis. Fisher's exact test was performed with p<0.05 considered statistically significant. Results: Ninety-six of 209 patients (46%) had a past history of psychological problems. Among those 96 patients with a history of psychological problems, 46(48%) used an overdose of the medicine prescribed by their psychologist in order to attempt suicide. However, for patients without a history of psychological problems, intoxication by neuropsychiatric drugs was insignificant. Neuropsychiatric patients required greater follow up care after discharge and exhibited significantly more suicide reattempts. Conclusion: This study revealed that patients sometimes use the medicine prescribed by their psychologist to attempt suicide. Therefore, an exhaustive plan to control the medicines prescribed to psychiatric patients should be established.
Prognostic Factors of Acute Poisoning in Elderly Patients
Ji-Yoon Kim, Hyun-Min Jung, Ji-Hye Kim, Seung-Baik Han, Jun-Sig Kim, Jin-Hui Paik
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):81-87.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: Incidents of suicide attempt and acute poisoning in the elderly population is rising. This study investigated the clinical nature of acute poisoning and differences between the survival and mortality groups in the elderly. Methods: We retrospectively investigated 325 patients with acute poisoning who visited the emergency department. Patients were divided into two groups, one survival and one death group. Information regarding patient sex, age, root cause of poisoning, time of year of poisoning, type of intoxicant, duration of time between intoxicant ingestion and arrival at the emergency department, total length of hospital stay, and any previous suicide attempts and subsequent hospitalization were collected. An initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and an initial and final Poison Severity Score (PSS) for each patient was calculated. Results: The survival rate for men was higher than for women in this study. The most common reason of drug intoxication was suicide, with accidental ingestion and substance abuse occurring in descending frequency. Seasonal factors were reflected in the data with the highest number of incidents occurring in spring and the lowest number in winter. Compared with the mortality group, the survival group had a lower initial PSS with a higher GCS. Conclusion: We conclude that being female, having suicide as a root cause, agrochemicals as an intoxicant, low initial Glasgow Coma Scale and high initial Poisoning Severity Score, are all associated with poor prognosis.
Factors Associated with Delayed Neuropsychological Sequelae in Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Patients Treated by Hyperbaric Oxygen
Dong-Ha Lee, Woo-Ik Choi
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):88-94.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: Delayed neuropsychological sequelae (DNS) commonly occurs after recovery from acute carbon monoxide poisoning. The aim of this article is to identify the factors associated with DNS development. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated patients, admitted to the medical center emergency department from June 2005 to March 2011, who were suffering from acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. We categorized the patients into two groups - those with DNS, and those without DNS. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify the factors related to manifestation of DNS. Results: Of the total one hundred fifty seven patients (157) recruited for the study, twenty two (22) developed DNS. Longer CO exposure times and lower GCS scores were positively associated with development of DNS symptoms. Conclusion: Our study identified two potential factors which are predictive of DNS development in CO intoxication, however, more studies are needed. Adequate follow-up after hospital discharge to monitor for and accurately identify manifestation of DNS, is also important.
Clinical Analysis of Puffer Fish Poisoning Cases
Seung-Hwan Hyun, Chang-Hwan Sohn, Seung-Mok Ryoo, Bum-Jin Oh, Kyung-Soo Lim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):95-100.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: Ingestion of puffer fish can be poisonous due to the presence of potent neurotoxins such as tetrodotoxin (TTX) found in its tissues. There are few clinical reports related to TTX. We performed this study to evaluate the clinical characteristics of TTX poisoning. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of the 41 patients diagnosed with TTX poisoning who visited the Seoul Asan medical center from July 2004 and December 2010. A review of patients' electronic medical records and patient telephone interviews were conducted. Diagnosis of TTX poisoning was confirmed by observing the casual link between puffer fish consumption and the development of typical TTX intoxication symptoms. Results: The mean age of the patients included in the study was 46.6 years. The highest incidence of intoxication was observed in patients in their 50s (10 patients). Seasonal distribution of intoxication events included 10 in spring, 7 in summer, 10 in fall, and 14 in winter. In most cases, symptoms occurred within 1 hour of ingestion. A wide range of symptoms were associated with puffer fish ingestion affecting multiple body systems including neuromuscular (27 patients), gastrointestinal (19 patients), and cardiopulmonary/vascular (19 patients). All patients were treated with symptomatic and supportive therapy and recovered completely, without sequelae, within 48 hours. In three cases, ventilator support was required. Conclusion: TTX poisoning is not seasonally related, and patients admitted to the emergency room were observed with a wide range of symptoms. Where TTX poisoning is diagnosed, supportive therapy should be performed. Early intubation and ventilation is important, especially is cases of respiratory failure.
Nicolau Syndrome following Diclofenac Injection in an Emergency Department
Sang-Won Chung, Ji-Hoon Kang, Jun-Mo Yeo, Jai-Woog Ko
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):101-104.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Nicolau syndrome is a rare adverse reaction at the site of an intramuscular injection, and is characterized by severe pain immediately after the injection and rapid development of distinct skin lesions. As this syndrome is rare, it may be overlooked at the early clinical phase and subsequently, clinical outcomes may be worse due to delay in treatment. We report on a female who developed Nicolau syndrome following intramuscular diclofenac injection, which required surgical reconstruction. Understanding the characteristics of Nicolau syndrome and careful surveillance for relevant clinical features may help physicians to more quickly diagnose and treat this condition.
A Case of Severe Aconitine Intoxication with Ventricular Tachycardia, Successfully Treated by a Combination of Two Anti-arrhythmic Drugs
Seung-Mok Ryoo, Chang-Hwan Sohn, Bum-Jin Oh, Won Kim, Kyoung-Soo Lim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):105-108.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Aconitine is an anti-inflammatory agent with therapeutic uses in oriental medicine as an analgesic and for treatment of stroke. Because of its sodium channel effect, aconitine can promote undesirable, wide complex tachyarrhythmia. If tachycardia develops during use of aconitine, class Ia and class III anti arrhythmic drugs can be utilized for treatment. However there are no single anti-arrhythmia agents which are uniformly effective. We report a case, characterized by wide complex tachyarrhythmia and severe hypotension, which was successfully treated by simultaneous injections of amiodarone and lidocaine. A 59-year-old woman exhibiting clinical signs of drowsiness as a result of ingesting 6 g of aconitine, was admitted to the emergency department. Initially, wide complex tachyarrhythmia (ventricular tachycardia and pulse rate of 180 beats/min) and severe hypotension (blood pressure of 53/26 mmHg) was observed. After simultaneous injection of amiodarone and lidocaine, the patient's rhythm pattern changed to an accelerated junctional rhythm with ventricular premature complex. Two hours later, the patient's heart pattern became a sinus rhythm. As demonstrated by this case, simultaneous injections of amiodarone and lidocaine can be useful in treating ventricular arrhythmia induced by aconitine.
A Case of Aluminum Phosphide Poisoning
Hyun-Min Jung, Ji-Hye Kim, Jin-Hui Paik, Jun-Sig Kim, Jung-Hun Kim, Seung-Baik Han
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):109-112.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Aluminum phosphide is commonly used as a rodenticidal agent in agricultural workplaces. However, reported cases of aluminum phosphide poisoning in Korea are rare. Upon contact with moisture in the air, aluminum phosphide releases highly toxic phosphine gas ($PH_3$). $PH_3$ is readily absorbed through lung epithelium and into the bloodstream. Phosphine may cause denaturing of oxyhemoglobin and enzymes important to respiration and metabolism, and also may effect cellular membranes. There are numerous complications associated with acute aluminum phosphide poisoning including gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cardiac toxicities. We report the case of a 46-year-old man who suffered from respiratory and cardiac toxicities after unintentional aluminum phosphide exposure. More intensive education for prevention is recommended.
A Case of Prolonged Coagulopathy in a Patient Intoxicated with Superwarfarin Rodenticide
Chan-Woo Park, Jun-Hwi Cho, Joon-Ho Bae, Joong-Bum Moon, Sung-Bin Chon, Ki-Ohk Ahn, Hui-Young Lee
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):113-116.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Superwarfarin, such as brodifacoum, is a highly lethal vitamin K antagonist used as a rodenticide. Brodifacoum has a particularly long half-life in the body, which ranges to several months, and therefore requires prolonged treatment with antidotal vitamin K. We experienced a case whereby an 18-year-old male was presented to the hospital with a severe bleeding disorder. It was discovered that he had ingested brodifacoum rodenticide with intent to commit suicide. Despite continual treatment with vitamin K, the bleeding disorder persisted for several months before he recovered. We report this case with literature review.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology