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March 1990

Isopropyl Alcohol Intoxication

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Tufts University, 750 Washington St, Boston, Mass.

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(3):322-324. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530030100022

• Three patients had neurologic signs due to isopropyl alcohol (IPA) intoxication. Over a several-week period, a known alcoholic developed apathy, confusion, ataxia, and hyperreflexia. During this period, there was no ethanol available to him, and he denied use of other intoxicants. He was found stuporous in the hospital after drinking IPA and admitted to IPA abuse during the preceding weeks. Two other men were admitted in a stupor after large ingestions of IPA. Intoxication with IPA has two different presentations: stupor in a known alcoholic and encephalopathy of unknown cause in individuals who hide their addiction. Ethanol, methanol, IPA, and ethylene glycol intoxications are associated with different clinical and laboratory findings.