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Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2007 Sep;45(6):717-20.

Methanol poisoning in Tunisia: report of 16 cases.

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Department of Intensive Care Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, (CAMU), Tunis, Tunisia. nozha


Methanol poisoning continues to be a public health problem in Tunisia in spite of the different legislative measures. We report a series of 16 cases of methanol poisoning admitted to our Intensive Care Unit between December 2003 and April 2004. The patients' median age was 21.5 years (range 16 to 53 years) with a median SAPS II of 14 (range 12 to 84) and an APACHE II of 8 (range 6 to 36). The median latent period was 9.5 hours (range 4 to 24 hours) with a delay to medical consultation of 36 hours (range 6 to 48 hours), and a median serum methanol concentration of 1.4 g/L (range 0.19 to 3.62 g/L). Clinical signs included central nervous system symptoms (69%), gastrointestinal complaints (87%), visual disturbances (69%) and metabolic acidosis (94%). Three patients (19%) required mechanical ventilation because of deep coma or shock and died within 6 hours. Hemodialysis was performed in eleven patients (69%) because of visual disturbances and/or metabolic acidosis. One patient developed irreversible bilateral blindness and another unilateral blindness secondary to optic neuropathy. Statistical significant risk factors for the developing of visual disturbances were found to be the ingested quantity of methanol, the latent period, acidosis and serum methanol concentration on admission.

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