Case of the Month #2 - ethylene glycol ingestion

Published 03/02/2022

Key Take Home Messages

  • Ethylene glycol ingestion can present with (and lead to) multi-organ dysfunction 
  • The anion gap and osmolal gap should both be assessed because they change over time; checking one in isolation may provide false clinical reassurance 
  • Fomepizole is the preferred antidote to minimise metabolism (and therefore toxicity) and haemodialysis may be required to facilitate clearance (of ethylene glycol and its metabolites) from the body 
  • Residual renal failure secondary to nephropathy (oxalate crystals) is common