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April 1939


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;63(4):760-777. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00180210153010

The number of clinical reports of cases of carbon tetrachloride poisoning with renal symptoms comparable to those of acute nephritis or toxic nephrosis is steadily increasing. Although symptoms referable to hepatic damage are usually present in such cases, they are soon overshadowed by signs indicating severe renal damage. The intoxication is due either to inhalation in a poorly ventilated room of fumes of carbon tetrachloride used for cleaning purposes or in fire extinguishers or to ingestion of this chemical.

The clinical symptoms and laboratory findings observed in such cases are so characteristic and uniform that the correct diagnosis can be made without an adequate clinical history of carbon tetrachloride poisoning. Indeed, the clinical picture sometimes prompts specific inquiries pertaining to the use of this chemical. The patients suffer from headache, dizziness, general malaise, fever and sometimes irritation of the nasal and conjunctival mucous membranes. Soon there appear signs of gastric