[Acute glyphosate-surfactant poisoning with neurological sequels and fatal outcome]

Vojnosanit Pregl. 2009 Sep;66(9):758-62. doi: 10.2298/vsp0909758p.
[Article in Serbian]


Introduction: Clinical picture of severe glyphosate-surfactant poisoning is manifested by gastroenteritis, respiratory disturbances, altered mental status, hypotension refractory to the treatment, renal failure, shock. Single case report indicated possible neurotoxic sequels of glyphosate-surfactant exposure with white matter lesions and development of Parkinsonism. We described a patient with massive white matter damage which led to vigil coma and lethal outcome.

Case report: A 56-year old woman ingested about 500 mL of herbicide containing glyphosate isopropylamine salt. The most prominent manifestation of poisoning included hypotension, coma, hyperkaliemia, respiratory and renal failure. The patient was treated in intensive care unit by symptomatic and supportive therapy including mechanical ventilation and hemodialysis. The patient survived the acute phase of poisoning, but she developed vigil coma. Nuclear magnetic imagining revealed extensive bilateral lesions of the brain stem white matter and pons.

Conclusion: The outcome of reported poisoning may be the consequence of glyphosate-surfactant neurotoxic effect or/and ischemia, especially in the episodes of marked hypotension during hemodialysis. Considering recommendation of early hemodialysis as the treatment of choice, even before renal failure development, we point out the importance of careful planning of dialysis modality in hemodynamically instable patient and recommend continuous dialysis methods.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Akinetic Mutism / chemically induced
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / poisoning
  • Herbicides / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes / etiology*


  • Herbicides
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine