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Acute Intoxications with Ethylene Glycol in Varna region: 25-Year Experience

Petko Marinov, Kaloyan Georgiev, Yulichka Subeva, Dobri Ivanov, Snezha Zlateva, Ivaylo Vazharov


Ethylene glycol (EG) is a bivalent alcohol. It is composed of many commercial and industrial products such as anti-freeze, coolants, deicing fluids, brake solutions, detergents and lacquers and is used as an organic solvent of many substances. Accidental and intentional poisonings with EG are rare, but potentially lethal and are a challenge to the clinical toxicology. Retrospectively, we followed the acute intoxications with EG for a 25-year period (1991-2015) in the Varna region, Republic of Bulgaria. The subject of the study were 95 patients with acute EG poisoning, at an average age of 46.8 years (21-77), who had received treatment at the Clinic of Toxicology and the diagnosis was confirmed by gas chromatographic method. EG intoxications are specific to the male gender, at male:female ratio of 6.9:1. All poisonings resulted from oral intake, mainly of anti-freeze, 92.6% of them being accidental and only 7.4% - deliberate. A lethal outcome was registered in 8 (8.4%) patients. Extreme renal insufficiency occurred in 9 (10.3%) of the surviving patients.


acute poisoning, intoxication, ethylene glycol, acute renal failure, hemodialysis, alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase

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About The Authors

Petko Marinov

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University `Prof. Paraskev Stoianov`- Varna, Marin Drinov Str.55, 9002 Varna, Bulgaria

Kaloyan Georgiev

Department of Pharmaceutical technologies, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University `Prof. Paraskev Stoianov`- Varna, Marin Drinov Str.55, 9002 Varna, Bulgaria

Yulichka Subeva

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University `Prof. Paraskev Stoianov`- Varna, Marin Drinov Str.55, 9002 Varna, Bulgaria

Dobri Ivanov

Department of Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University `Prof. Paraskev Stoianov`- Varna, Marin Drinov Str.55, 9002 Varna, Bulgaria

Snezha Zlateva

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacotherapy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University `Prof. Paraskev Stoianov`- Varna, Marin Drinov Str.55, 9002 Varna, Bulgaria

Ivaylo Vazharov


Clinic of Internal Diseases, Naval Hospital - Varna, MilitaryMedical Academy, Bulgaria.

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