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Chronic Dysphagia and Trigeminal Anesthesia After Trichloroethylene Exposure

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to William H. Lawrence, M.D.; Neurology Service, Mail 127, Veterans Administration Medical Center, 7th Street and Indian School Road; Phoenix, AZ 85012.

Veterans Administration Medical Center; Phoenix, Arizona

Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(6):710. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-95-6-710
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Whereas loss of facial sensation has been reported after industrial and anesthetic trichloroethylene poisoning (1, 2), the neurotoxicity of this agent may also produce a severe bulbar palsy. We studied a patient who had inhaled trichloroethylene fumes 11 years earlier and has severe residual dysphagia.

In 1968 at age 59, the patient was working alone in a closed underground pit, shoveling metal shavings that had been cleaned with trichloroethylene. Because of noxious fumes he emerged through a manhole to put on a face mask, which did not fit tightly. He resumed shoveling but experienced numbness around the upper lip and


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