Rapid Determination of Ethylene Glycol at Toxic Levels in Serum and Urine

J Chromatogr. 1988 Dec 30;434(2):469-74. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4347(88)80015-x.


The rapid gas chromatographic detection and determination of ethylene glycol in biological fluids is described. Phenylboronic acid in acetone was used for the esterification of glycol. The phenylboronates of ethylene glycol and 1,2-propylene glycol are not separated on a packed column of medium polarity (OV-17), but they can be separated on a non-polar column (OV-101). In both instances, 1,3-propylene glycol can be used as an internal standard. The method requires only 100 microliters of serum or urine and is suitable for trace analysis in an emergency toxicological laboratory. The utility of the method is demonstrated on two cases of human intoxication with ethylene glycol.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Ethylene Glycols / blood
  • Ethylene Glycols / toxicity*
  • Ethylene Glycols / urine
  • Humans


  • Ethylene Glycols