Approach to the Treatment of Methanol Intoxication.

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Approach to the Treatment of Methanol Intoxication.

Am J Kidney Dis. 2016 May 13;

Authors: Kraut JA

Methanol intoxication is an uncommon but serious poisoning. Its adverse effects are due primarily to the impact of its major metabolite formic acid and lactic acid resulting from cellular hypoxia. Symptoms including abdominal pain and loss of vision can appear a few hours to a few days after exposure, reflecting the time necessary for accumulation of the toxic byproducts. In addition to a history of exposure, increases in serum osmolal and anion gaps can be clues to its presence. However, increments in both parameters can be absent depending on the nature of the toxic alcohol, time of exposure, and coingestion of ethanol. Definitive diagnosis requires measurement with gas or liquid chromatography, which are laborious and expensive procedures. Tests under study to detect methanol or its metabolite formate might facilitate the diagnosis of this poisoning. Treatment can include administration of ethanol or fomepizole, both inhibitors of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase to prevent formation of its metabolites, and hemodialysis to remove methanol and formate. In this Acid-Base and Electrolyte Teaching Case, a patient with methanol intoxication due to ingestion of model airplane fuel is described, and the value and limitations of current and new diagnostic and treatment measures are discussed.

PMID: 27180631 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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