Butane abuse associated Encephalopathy

Klin Padiatr. Sep-Oct 2002;214(5):295-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2002-33984.


Butane contained in household products is easily available for abuse and is not subject to legal prosecution in Germany. The toxicological properties of butane mainly affect the heart and the CNS. A serious pathophysiological mechanism is asphyxia due to the replacement of oxygen by butane. We report an abusive butane inhalation in a 15-year old girl, resulting in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and subsequent development of severe brain damage. After reviewing the medical literature and questioning German toxicological information centres it became obvious, that abuse of butane is an increasing problem. We give an survey about the complications associated with butane intoxication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Atrophy
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / chemically induced
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Butanes* / adverse effects
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Neurologic Examination / drug effects
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*


  • Butanes
  • butane