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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 11(3); 2000 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2000;11(3): 345-351.
Plasma Paraquat Concentration in Acute Paraquat Poisoning
Seung Min Park, Se Hyun Kim, Su Jin Choi, Hyun Kim, Wan Ku Lee, Young Nam Kim, Kwang Young Lee, Young Hee Lee, Sung Hye Shin
BACKGROUND: Paraquat is a bipyridyl compound, and when ingested, concentrated paraquat can cause either rapid death from multisystem failure and cardiovascular shock or delayed death from progressive pulmonary fibrosis. Paraquat is poorly absorbed by inhalation, but when ingested orally, severe illness can occur. Death usually occurs within 2 days if more than 50mg/kg of paraquat is ingested. The most important prognostic indicator is the quantity of paraquat absorbed, as shown by the plasma paraquat concentration. However, in Korea, there are few, if any, institutes that can measure the plasma paraquat concentration, and the prognostic indication depends mostly on the description given by the patients and their families about the amount of paraquat ingested, which is often underestimated or overestimated. For these reasons, we tried to compare the plasma paraquat concentrations with amount of paraquat described by patients or their families.
We reviewed the medical records of 59 patients with acute paraquat poisoning from February 1998 through February 1999. The paraquat concentrations in plasma were measured at Presbyterian Medical Center by using high performance liquid chromatography.
There was a striking discrepancy between the plasma paraquat concentration and the ingested amount described by the patients or their families.
We recommend that the plasma paraquat concentration be measured in patients being treated for acute paraquat poisoning.
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