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HOME > J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol > Volume 10(1); 2012 > Article
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
Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology 2012;10(1):15-21
DOI: https://doi.org/
Published online: June 30, 2012
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1Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine
4Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine
5Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Konyang University
6Department of Emergency Medicine, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital
7Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University
8Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital
9Department of Emergency Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital

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.


JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology