HOWARD Z. STREICHER, M.D.; PATRICIA A. GABOW, M.D.; ALVIN H. MOSS, M.D.; DWIGHT KONO, M.D.; WILLIAM D. KAEHNY, M.D.
Clinical and laboratory findings in 25 adults, ages ranging from 18 to 40 years, who were hospitalized for problems related to paint sniffing are presented. All but one were chronically unemployed. Three different patterns of symptoms led to hospitalization: muscle weakness (n = 9), gastrointestinal complaints including abdominal pain and hematemesis (n = 6) and neuropsychiatric disorders including altered mental status, cerebellar abnormalities, and peripheral neuropathy (n = 10). Hypokalemia (n = 13), hypophosphatemia (n = 10), hyperchloremia (n = 22), and hypobicarbonatemia (n = 23) were common. The average serum potassium and phosphorus concentrations of 1.7 mmol/L and 1.5 mg/dL were significantly lower in the muscle weakness group than in the other two groups. Rhabdomyolysis occurred in 10 patients. Hyperchloremic acidosis was found in 19 of 22 patients evaluated. The muscle weakness and gastrointestinal syndromes resolved within 1 to 3 days with abstinence from sniffing and repletion of fluid and electrolyte stores. Inhalation of paint or glue vapors should be considered in the differential diagnosis of the symptoms and laboratory findings described above.
STREICHER HZ, GABOW PA, MOSS AH, KONO D, KAEHNY WD. Syndromes of Toluene Sniffing in Adults. Ann Intern Med. ;94:758–762. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-94-6-758
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1981;94(6):758-762.
Endocrine and Metabolism, Fluid and Electrolyte Disorders, Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Hospital Medicine, Nephrology.
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