An unusual case of poisoning

South Med J. 2003 Sep;96(9):923-5. doi: 10.1097/01.SMJ.0000085749.78092.68.


The case of a 49-year-old alcoholic man with obtundation is presented. The patient was presumptively diagnosed with methanol intoxication due to the presence of metabolic acidosis with high anion and osmolar gaps. Laboratory testing revealed toxic levels of propylene glycol instead. An exercise in estimating the concentration of toxic alcohols and glycols is given, and the literature on poisoning with this unusual but commonly encountered intoxicant is briefly reviewed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Intoxication / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Propylene Glycol / blood
  • Propylene Glycol / poisoning*
  • Solvents / poisoning*


  • Solvents
  • Propylene Glycol