USMLE

Ethylene Glycol Poisoning

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Toxicology
  1. Cyanide Poisoning
  2. Tetrodotoxin
  3. Methanol Poisoning
  4. Ethylene Glycol Poisoning
  5. Ciguatoxin (Ciguatera Fish Poisoning)
  6. Spoiled Fish (Scombroid) Poisoning
  7. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  8. Amanita Phalloides

Summary

Ethylene glycol poisoning is caused by ingesting antifreeze. It’s accidentally ingested by young children because of its sweet taste. It is also a common resource for adults who want to commit suicide. Typically, ethylene glycol poisoning can cause intoxication. It can also cause an anion gap metabolic acidosis, because ethylene glycol is metabolized to oxalic acid and glycolic acid. In a patient presenting with ethylene glycol poisoning, oxalic acid can be found in the urine as calcium oxalate crystals, which can appear either envelope or dumbbell-shaped on microscopy. Calcium oxalate crystals can cause oliguria, hematuria, and sudden onset writhing back pain. Treatment for ethylene glycol poisoning are mainly fomepizole, but you can also useintravenous ethanol as an alternative.