Glue (toluene) abuse: increased QT dispersion and relation with unexplained syncope

Inhal Toxicol. 2008 Jan;20(1):37-41. doi: 10.1080/08958370701758304.


Exposure to toluene, one of the major components of glue, can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden sniffing death syndrome. QT dispersion is a useful risk marker for cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of glue abuse on QT interval and QT dispersion. The study included 44 patients with inhalant abuse and 34 healthy controls. Patients were divided into three groups: glue abusers with history of unexplained syncope (n = 20), asymptomatic glue abusers (n = 24), and healthy control subjects (n = 34). QT intervals, QT dispersion, and corrected QT dispersion values were measured. QT and corrected QT duration were greater in the symptomatic group than in at the symptomatic group and greater in the asymptomatic group than in controls. QT and corrected QT dispersion in both symptomatic and asymptomatic group were significantly greater than controls (p= .001), and also QT and corrected QT dispersion in symptomatic group was greater in asymptomatic group (p = .001). These findings demonstrate that QT interval and corrected QT dispersion increase in symptomatic or asymptomatic toluene abusers. The QT and QTc dispersion were also found to be longer in the symptomatic group than those in the asymptomatic group.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adhesives / administration & dosage
  • Adhesives / adverse effects*
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Long QT Syndrome / etiology
  • Long QT Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Syncope / etiology
  • Syncope / physiopathology*
  • Toluene / administration & dosage
  • Toluene / adverse effects*


  • Adhesives
  • Toluene