Ethylene Glycol Intoxication-A Challenge for Emergency Physicians

Translated Titles



郭峻廷(Chun-Ting Kuo);陳進明(Chin-Ming Chen)

Key Words

急性神智改變 ; 乙二醇中毒 ; 嚴重酸血症 ; 血液透析 ; 酒精治療 ; altered consciousness ; ethylene glycol intoxication ; metabolic acidosis ; hemodialysis ; alcohol antidote


Journal of Emergency Medicine, Taiwan

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

7卷1期(2005 / 03 / 01)

Page #

30 - 34

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

Patients arriving with abruptly altered mental status are challenging for emergency physicians. One reason is because it is difficult to obtain detailed and correct history and sometimes even physical examinations can not be perform without the cooperation of the patients. To our knowledge, ethylene glycol is mainly an industrial solvent. Most cases involve mistakenly swallowing the substance, which diminishes the clues for diagnosis. We present an 80-year-old man who had a craniotomy 1 year before visiting our emergency department due to subdural hematoma. Dementia and bizarre behavior, like pica, was noted. When he was sent to the hospital, he was lying on the ground with an altered state of consciousness. Toxicology screen revealed negative findings. He was found to have a deep and rapid respiratory pattern. High osmolar and high anion gas metabolic acidosis were found. Alcohol and four applications of hemodialysis were given. After which, he restored consciousness and metabolic acidosis was resolved. From this case, we learned that the toxicology screen is the too basic to detect a patient with suggested ethylene toxicity. To rule out the possibility of ethylene toxicity, arterial blood gas is a good tool to determine abnormal signs in the blood.

Topic Category 醫藥衛生 > 內科
醫藥衛生 > 外科
醫藥衛生 > 醫院管理與醫事行政