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Magnetic resonance imaging in a patient with nitrous oxide-induced subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord

Schmitz, Zachary P; Hoffman, Robert S
INTRODUCTION/UNASSIGNED:Chronic nitrous oxide use can lead to neurological findings that are clinically and radiographically identical to those found in patients with pernicious anemia, specifically subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord and peripheral neuropathy. CASE SUMMARY/UNASSIGNED:A 22-year-old man presented with lower extremity weakness and ataxia in the setting of inhaling 250 nitrous oxide cartridges two to three times weekly for two years. IMAGES/UNASSIGNED:Magnetic resonance imaging showed T2 hyperenhancement of the dorsal columns of the cervical spine from the first to the sixth vertebrae, which helped to establish a diagnosis of nitrous oxide-induced subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Chronic nitrous oxide use should be included in the differential diagnosis of any patient with otherwise unexplained neurological complaints that localize to the dorsal columns and has the changes on magnetic resonance imaging described here.
PMID: 38060330
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5591342

Minding the osmol gap: a sentinel event and subsequent laboratory investigation

Pires, Kyle D; Uppal, Ravi; Hoffman, Robert S; Biary, Rana
INTRODUCTION/UNASSIGNED:Many hospitals are unable to determine toxic alcohol concentrations in a clinically meaningful time frame. Thus, clinicians use surrogate markers when evaluating potentially poisoned patients. INDEX CASE/UNASSIGNED:A patient presented after an intentional antifreeze (ethylene glycol) ingestion with an osmol gap of -10.6 that remained stable one hour later. Further investigation revealed that the serum osmolality was calculated and not measured. The true osmol gap was 16.4, which correlated to a measured ethylene glycol concentration of 808 mg/L (80.8 mg/dL, 13.0 mmol/L). SURVEY/UNASSIGNED:A telephone survey of hospital laboratories in our catchment area was performed to investigate the potential for similar events. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Thirty-eight (47 percent) hospitals responded. No laboratories were able to test for toxic alcohols. One hospital (2.6 percent) reported routinely calculating osmolality based on chemistries, while two hospitals (5.3 percent) reported scenarios in which this might occur. Thirty-five (92.1 percent) hospitals could directly measure osmolality. Two hospitals (5.3 percent) were reliant on outside laboratories for osmolality measurement. LIMITATIONS/UNASSIGNED:The 47 percent response rate and one geographic area are significant limitations. DISCUSSION/UNASSIGNED:Over 10 percent of hospitals that responded could have significant difficulty assessing patients with toxic alcohol ingestion. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Until the standard of rapidly obtaining toxic alcohol concentrations is broadly implemented, we recommend that policies and procedures be put in place to minimize errors associated with the determination of the osmol gap.
PMID: 38060329
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5591332

Closing the xylazine knowledge gap [Editorial]

Hoffman, Robert S
PMID: 38270058
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5625152

An international survey of the treatment of massive paracetamol overdose in 2023

Mohan, Sanjay; Bloom, Joshua; Kerester, Samantha; Hoffman, Robert S; Su, Mark K
INTRODUCTION/UNASSIGNED:Changes in the commercialization of nonprescription drugs have made large quantities of paracetamol available to individuals, resulting in larger overdoses than previously observed. Although most patients with paracetamol overdose can be managed with acetylcysteine, patients with a massive overdose may become critically ill earlier and fail standard antidotal therapy. Several strategies are proposed for the management of these patients, including using increased doses of acetylcysteine, extracorporeal removal, and fomepizole. However, the benefits of these strategies remain largely theoretical, with sparse evidence for efficacy in humans. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:This cross-sectional study surveys international practice patterns of medical toxicology providers regarding the management of a hypothetical patient with a massive paracetamol overdose. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:A total of 342 responses from 31 different nations were obtained during the study period. Sixty-one percent of providers would have increased their acetylcysteine dosing when treating the hypothetical massive overdose. Thirty percent of respondents recommended an indefinite infusion of acetylcysteine at 12.5 mg/kg/hour after the bolus dose, whereas 20 percent recommended following the "Hendrickson" protocol, which advocates for a stepwise increase in acetylcysteine dosing to match high paracetamol concentrations at the 300 mg/L, 400 mg/L, and 600 mg/L lines on the Rumack-Matthew nomogram. Ten percent of respondents stated they would have given "double dose acetylcysteine" but did not specify what that entailed. Forty-seven percent of respondents indicated that they would have given fomepizole, and 28 percent of respondents recommended extracorporeal removal. DISCUSSION/UNASSIGNED:Our survey study assessed the approach to a hypothetical patient with a massive paracetamol overdose and demonstrated that, at minimum, most respondents would increase the dose of acetylcysteine. Additionally, almost half would also include fomepizole, and nearly one-third would include extracorporeal removal. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:There is considerable international variation for the treatment of both non-massive and massive paracetamol overdoses. Future research is needed to identify and standardize the most effective treatment for both non-massive and massive paracetamol overdoses.
PMID: 38112311
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5612312

Is epinephrine harmful in volatile substance use-induced cardiac arrest? [Comment]

Hoffman, Robert S
PMID: 37988118
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5608462

Insulin concentrations following termination of high-dose insulin euglycemic therapy [Case Report]

Wiener, Brian G; Smith, Cameron T; Patel, Savan; Hoffman, Robert S
INTRODUCTION:High-dose insulin therapy is used in patients with calcium channel blocker and beta-adrenergic antagonist overdoses. The pharmacokinetics of insulin are scantly reported following high-dose insulin therapy. We present two cases of persistently elevated insulin concentrations following high-dose insulin therapy. CASE REPORTS:A 50-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man experienced hypotension after overdosing on amlodipine and atenolol. They were treated with high-dose insulin therapy for 54 hours at 2 units/kilogram/hour and 48 hours at 10 units/kilogram/hour, respectively. Following termination, serum insulin elimination was studied. Insulin concentrations remained greater than 1,000 µU/mL (fasting reference 2.6-24.9 µU/mL) for longer than 4 hours (case 1) and 11 hours (case 2) and greater than 300 µU/mL for longer than 8 hours and 21 hours, respectively. Insulin concentrations decreased with apparent first-order elimination half-lives of 13.0 hours and 6.0 hours. DISCUSSION:Following high-dose insulin therapy, insulin concentrations remained elevated for longer than expected based on normal pharmacokinetics in therapeutic dosing. Three previous cases reported insulin half-lives of between 2.2 hours and 18.7 hours. The current cases add to the existing data that insulin has a variable but prolonged half-life following high-dose insulin therapy. CONCLUSIONS:These findings suggest that patients are at prolonged risk of hypoglycemia following cessation of high-dose insulin infusions.
PMID: 37873673
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5607942

Confirmed Fatal Colchicine Poisoning in an Adolescent with Blood and Bile Concentrations-Implications for GI Decontamination? [Case Report]

Trebach, Joshua; Boyd, Molly; Crane, Andres; DiSalvo, Phil; Biary, Rana; Hoffman, Robert S; Su, Mark K
INTRODUCTION:Colchicine is commonly used to treat diseases like acute gouty arthritis. However, colchicine has a very narrow therapeutic index, and ingestions of > 0.5mg/kg can be deadly. We report a fatal acute colchicine overdose in an adolescent. Blood and postmortem bile colchicine concentrations were obtained to better understand the degree of enterohepatic circulation of colchicine. CASE REPORT:A 13-year-old boy presented to the emergency department after acute colchicine poisoning. A single dose of activated charcoal was administered early but no other doses were attempted. Despite aggressive interventions such as exchange transfusion and veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO), the patient died 8 days later. Postmortem histology was notable for centrilobular necrosis of the liver and a cardiac septal microinfarct. The patient's blood colchicine concentration on hospital days 1 (~30 hours post-ingestion), 5, and 7 was 12ng/mL, 11ng/mL, and 9.5ng/mL, respectively. A postmortem bile concentration obtained during autopsy was 27ng/mL. DISCUSSION:Humans produce approximately 600mL of bile daily. Assuming that activated charcoal would be able to adsorb 100% of biliary colchicine, using the bile concentration obtained above, only 0.0162mg of colchicine per day would be able to be adsorbed and eliminated by activated charcoal in this patient. CONCLUSION:Despite supportive care, activated charcoal, VA-ECMO, and exchange transfusion, modern medicine may not be enough to prevent death in severely poisoned colchicine patients. Although targeting enterohepatic circulation with activated charcoal to enhance elimination of colchicine sounds attractive, the patient's low postmortem bile concentration of colchicine suggests a limited role of activated charcoal in enhancing elimination of a consequential amount of colchicine.
PMID: 37222938
ISSN: 1937-6995
CID: 5538262

Defining the roles of computed tomography and esophagogastroduodenoscopy in patients with caustic ingestions [Editorial]

Hoffman, Robert S
PMID: 37293898
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5541332

Extracorporeal treatment for ethylene glycol poisoning: systematic review and recommendations from the EXTRIP workgroup

Ghannoum, Marc; Gosselin, Sophie; Hoffman, Robert S; Lavergne, Valery; Mégarbane, Bruno; Hassanian-Moghaddam, Hossein; Rif, Maria; Kallab, Siba; Bird, Steven; Wood, David M; Roberts, Darren M
Ethylene glycol (EG) is metabolized into glycolate and oxalate and may cause metabolic acidemia, neurotoxicity, acute kidney injury (AKI), and death. Historically, treatment of EG toxicity included supportive care, correction of acid-base disturbances and antidotes (ethanol or fomepizole), and extracorporeal treatments (ECTRs), such as hemodialysis. With the wider availability of fomepizole, the indications for ECTRs in EG poisoning are debated. We conducted systematic reviews of the literature following published EXTRIP methods to determine the utility of ECTRs in the management of EG toxicity. The quality of the evidence and the strength of recommendations, either strong ("we recommend") or weak/conditional ("we suggest"), were graded according to the GRADE approach. A total of 226 articles met inclusion criteria. EG was assessed as dialyzable by intermittent hemodialysis (level of evidence = B) as was glycolate (Level of evidence = C). Clinical data were available for analysis on 446 patients, in whom overall mortality was 18.7%. In the subgroup of patients with a glycolate concentration ≤ 12 mmol/L (or anion gap ≤ 28 mmol/L), mortality was 3.6%; in this subgroup, outcomes in patients receiving ECTR were not better than in those who did not receive ECTR. The EXTRIP workgroup made the following recommendations for the use of ECTR in addition to supportive care over supportive care alone in the management of EG poisoning (very low quality of evidence for all recommendations): i) Suggest ECTR if fomepizole is used and EG concentration > 50 mmol/L OR osmol gap > 50; or ii) Recommend ECTR if ethanol is used and EG concentration > 50 mmol/L OR osmol gap > 50; or iii) Recommend ECTR if glycolate concentration is > 12 mmol/L or anion gap > 27 mmol/L; or iv) Suggest ECTR if glycolate concentration 8-12 mmol/L or anion gap 23-27 mmol/L; or v) Recommend ECTR if there are severe clinical features (coma, seizures, or AKI). In most settings, the workgroup recommends using intermittent hemodialysis over other ECTRs. If intermittent hemodialysis is not available, CKRT is recommended over other types of ECTR. Cessation of ECTR is recommended once the anion gap is < 18 mmol/L or suggested if EG concentration is < 4 mmol/L. The dosage of antidotes (fomepizole or ethanol) needs to be adjusted during ECTR.
PMID: 36765419
ISSN: 1466-609x
CID: 5421042

Retrospective evaluation of management guidelines for extracorporeal treatment of metformin poisoning

Trebach, Joshua; Mohan, Sanjay; Gnirke, Marlis; Su, Mark K; Gosselin, Sophie; Hoffman, Robert S
PMID: 36752699
ISSN: 1556-9519
CID: 5426912