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December 1961

Treatment of Methanol Poisoning by Extracorporeal Dialysis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, and the Medical Service, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta.; Senior Assistant Resident, Grady Memorial Hospital; Former Fellow in Renal and Electrolyte Metabolism of the Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(6):937-939. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620120121016

The studies of Marc-Aurele and Schreiner have shown that methanol is a readily dialyzable substance, that early dialysis in methanol-poisoned dogs is successful in preventing blindness, and that the presence of ethanol does not interfere with the dialysance of methanol.1 That the presence of ethanol inhibits the metabolism of methanol to its more toxic oxidative products has been adequately demonstrated.2-5 This information has outlined a method for the ideal early treatment of methanol poisoning by blockade of its metabolism with simultaneous ethanol infusion and rapid removal of methanol, prior to its oxidation, by dialysis.

Stinebaugh has recently reported 3 cases of severe methyl alcohol poisoning treated with peritoneal dialysis with recovery but loss of sight in 2 patients.6 The third patient died. Although Stinebaugh demonstrated effective removal of methanol by this method, dialysis required 20-24 hours. It is felt that the rather prolonged period of time required

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