Hemodialysis for methanol intoxication
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We describe nine patients with methyl alcohol poisoning who were treated with hemodialysis. The time from ingestion to dialysis varied from 4 to 100 hours. Predialysis blood methanol levels ranged from 3 to 570 mg/dl. All patients were acidotic and had an increased anion gap. Two patients died, seven recovered, but three had permanent visual impairment. There was little correlation between the blood methanol level or anion gap and visual outcome. The interval from ingestion to treatment appears to be more important than the initial biochemical status. We recommend prompt hemodialysis if the blood methanol level is above 50 mg/dl, when an amount of methanol exceeding the minimal lethal dose (30 ml) is known to have been ingested, when there is evidence of acidosis or when an abnormality has developed in vision, funduscopic examination or mental state. Concurrent therapy with alkali and ethanol is vital.
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