Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 88  

Methanol poisoning with blindness and putaminal necrosis - was metabolic acidosis missed?

H Sanaei-Zadeh 
 Division of Medical Toxicology, Emergency Room, Hazrat Ali-Asghar (p) Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
H Sanaei-Zadeh
Division of Medical Toxicology, Emergency Room, Hazrat Ali-Asghar (p) Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz

How to cite this article:
Sanaei-Zadeh H. Methanol poisoning with blindness and putaminal necrosis - was metabolic acidosis missed?.J Postgrad Med 2014;60:88-88

How to cite this URL:
Sanaei-Zadeh H. Methanol poisoning with blindness and putaminal necrosis - was metabolic acidosis missed?. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Feb 8 ];60:88-88
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I would like to address the article by Srivastava et al. in a recent issue of your journal on methanol intoxication. [1] The authors explained a case of methanol poisoning who presented with acute-onset blindness and encephalopathy six hours post-ingestion of country liquor. Interestingly, his arterial blood gas analysis was normal at presentation. Also, the patient's brain computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging showed bilateral putaminal hemorrhagic necrosis on day 30. However, a major point about this case is of concern. How can it be possible that a methanol-poisoned patient present with blindness without metabolic acidosis and then develop bilateral putaminal necrosis? To the best of my knowledge, such a case has not been reported in the literature previously. It should be mentioned that in methanol poisoning, the onset and severity of clinical and laboratory abnormalities depend largely on the generation of formic acid. [2],[3],[4],[5] There is a latent phase of 6-30 h post-ingestion or longer if the patient has co-ingested ethanol (such as in the presented case), for clinical effects of methanol poisoning to occur. [2],[3],[4],[6],[7],[8],[9] This characteristic latent period is thought to result from the slow metabolism of methanol to formic acid. [2],[4],[6],[9] Moreover, it has been stated that in cases of methanol poisoning without metabolic acidosis, visual dysfunction usually does not develop. [10] Also, it has been shown that the severity of visual abnormalities in methanol-poisoned patients is directly correlated with the severity of metabolic acidosis. [2],[3],[6] Furthermore, the most severe neurologic dysfunctions are found in methanol-poisoned patients with the most severe metabolic acidosis. [2],[11] It should be noted that a rare complication of methanol poisoning is putaminal necrosis, which presents with rigidity, tremor, masked face, and monocolonous speech. It has been attributed to reduced cerebral blood flow and/ or accumulation of formic acid in the putamen. [2] With respect to the above-mentioned points, I think that the most plausible explanation for the development of blindness, encephalopathy, and putaminal hemorrhagic necrosis in this patient is previous consumption of country liquor before the current presentation or laboratory technical error in determining acidosis at hospital presentation that has been missed.


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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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