Clinical impact of upper gastrointestinal tract injuries in glyphosate-surfactant oral intoxication

Hum Exp Toxicol. 1999 Aug;18(8):475-8. doi: 10.1191/096032799678847078.


Fifty patients with glyphosate-surfactant oral ingestion were studied with upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopic grading using Zargar's modified grading system for mucosal corrosive injury. Esophageal injury was seen in 68% of the patients, gastric injury in 72%, and duodenal injury in 16%. There were no grade 3 injuries. The upper gastrointestinal tract injuries caused by glyphosate-surfactant were minor in comparison with those by other strong acids. The WBC count, amount of glyphosate-surfactant ingested, length of hospital stay and the occurrence of serious complications increased markedly in the group which had grade 2 esophageal injuries. Thus, the severity of the esophageal injuries may be a prognostic factor for the patient with glyphosate-surfactant ingestion. The UGI endoscopy may be indicated for grading esophageal injury in patients who have ingested glyphosate-surfactant in amounts greater than 100 ml. Physicians should pay more attention to the patients with grade 2 or 3 esophageal injuries to prevent serious complications and to provide aggressive supportive care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Duodenum / drug effects
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Esophageal Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Esophageal Diseases / pathology
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Esophagus / drug effects*
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Female
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / poisoning
  • Herbicides / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucous Membrane / drug effects
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach / pathology


  • Herbicides
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine