Urinary excretion of diethylphosphorus metabolites in persons poisoned by quinalphos or chlorpyrifos

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 1992 May;22(4):351-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00212552.


The urinary excretion rates of diethyl phosphate and diethyl phosphorothioate and changes in blood cholinesterase activities were studied in fifteen persons self-poisoned either by the organophosphorus pesticide quinalphos (twelve persons) or by chlorpyrifos (three persons). The organophosphate poisoning was always indicated by a significant depression of serum and/or red blood cell cholinesterase activities. The return of serum cholinesterase activity in the range of referent values took more than 30 days and had a different course in different persons. The most rapid increase in red blood cell acetylcholinesterase activity was noted within 24 h after the first treatment with oximes Pralidoxime and/or HI-6. None of the spot urine samples, collected daily after admission of persons to hospital, contained measurable quantities of the parent pesticide. There was no correlation between the maximum concentration of total urinary diethylphosphorus metabolites normalized to creatinine and the initial inhibition of blood cholinesterase activities measured in samples collected on the day of admission to hospital. The excretion of metabolites followed the kinetics of a biphasic reaction. The half-time of urinary metabolites concentration decrease in the fast excretion phase in quinalphos poisoned persons was 5.5-14.2 h (eight persons) and 26.8-53.6 h (four persons) and in chlorpyrifos poisoned persons 3.5-5.5 h. The half-time for the slow excretion phase ranged from 66.5 to 127.9 h in all persons and for both compounds. For a given person, the rates of excretion of diethyl phosphate and diethyl phosphorothioate were about the same. However, in quinalphos poisoned persons the proportions of single metabolites in total diethylphosphorus metabolites varied with the initial maximum concentration of total metabolites.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chlorpyrifos / metabolism
  • Chlorpyrifos / poisoning*
  • Cholinesterases / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / poisoning*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds / metabolism
  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds / poisoning*
  • Poisoning / urine


  • Insecticides
  • Organothiophosphorus Compounds
  • quinalphos
  • Cholinesterases
  • Chlorpyrifos