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December 7, 1963

Experimental Treatment of Ethylene Glycol Poisoning

JAMA. 1963;186(10):955-957. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63710100033023b

ETHYLENE GLYCOL has been widely used as a solvent for dyes and drugs and as a constituent of antifreeze mixtures for the cooling systems of automobiles.1 Forty to 60 deaths are thought to occur annually from accidental ingestion or from its use as a substitute for beverage alcohol.2 The fatal dose in human adults is believed to be about 100 gm.3

Initially, the toxic manifestations of ethylene glycol poisoning relate to central nervous disorder with confusion, convulsions, and coma occurring commonly. Other evidence of neuropathy such as incoordinate movement, ataxia, and ocular palsy may occur. The early symptoms are not unlike those of acute intoxication with ethanol. These symptoms are sometimes associated with signs of cardiopulmonary disease. Tachycardia, tachypnea, cyanosis, and pulmonary edema have been observed early in the course of illness.4 Later, however, there is evidence of nephrotoxicity.4,5 Blood and protein are found in

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