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Ethylene Glycol Poisoning: Sensitivity and Specificity

Introduction: None written.

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Tags: Metabolic Toxic Tag this Diagnosis.

The sensitivity and specificity of findings for Ethylene Glycol Poisoning are listed below. See the left navigation bar to change the display.

Sensitive Findings

Finding SensitivitySpecificity Comments, Study
Elevated Osmolal Gap Edit 85%50%

Using equation:

Osmc = 2*Na(mEq/L) + BUN(mmol/L) + glucose(mmol/L) + 1.25*ethanol(mmol/L)

  • OR (in US units) -
  • Osmc (mOsm/kg) = 2(Na+) + [BUN/2.8] + [glucose/18] + 1.25*[ethanol (mg/dL)/4.6]

    Normal is <= 10 mOsm/kg. This is for identifying patients requiring an antidote for overdose.

    Study: BMC Emerg Med. 2008 Apr 28;8:5. PMID: 18442409

    Poorly Diagnostic Findings

    Finding SensitivitySpecificity Comments, Study
    Urine Fluorescence Edit 38%70%

    under UV light (Wood's lamp) - only applicable if ingestion was antifreeze, which has Na Fluorescein added! This study was simulated, not actual poisoning patients.

    Study: Ann Emerg Med. 2001 Jul;38(1):49-54. PMID: 11423812

    Calcium Oxalate Crystals Edit Sensitivity = 50%

    envelope shaped.

    Could not read abstract/text, but citation in Rosen's Emergency Med says <50% sensitivity. No specificity.

    Study: Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1982 May;42(3):231-4. PMID: 7134806