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Ethylene Glycol Poisoning

Ethylene Glycol Poisoning is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Peak serum concentration in 1–4 hr
  • Half-life, 2.5–4.5 hr
  • <20% excreted unmetabolized by kidneys
  • Pathophysiology:
    • Metabolized by hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase ultimately to oxalic acid
    • Results in aldehyde and acid metabolites
    • Directly toxic to CNS, heart, and kidneys


  • Ethylene-glycol–containing products:
    • Antifreeze
    • Solvents
  • Min. reported lethal dose is 30 mL of 100% ethylene glycol.

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Ethylene Glycol Poisoning." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307624/1.3/Ethylene_Glycol_Poisoning.
Ethylene Glycol Poisoning. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307624/1.3/Ethylene_Glycol_Poisoning. Accessed June 18, 2019.
Ethylene Glycol Poisoning. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307624/1.3/Ethylene_Glycol_Poisoning
Ethylene Glycol Poisoning [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 June 18]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307624/1.3/Ethylene_Glycol_Poisoning.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Ethylene Glycol Poisoning ID - 307624 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307624/1.3/Ethylene_Glycol_Poisoning PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -