Chloracetanilide herbicides (alachlor, butachlor, metachlor) are used widely. Although there are much data about chronic low dose exposure to chloracetanilide in humans and animals, there are few data about acute chloracetanilide poisoning in humans. This study investigated the clinical feature of patients following acute oral exposure to chloracetanilide. We retrospectively reviewed the data on the patients who were admitted to two university hospitals from January 2006 to December 2010. Thirty-five patients were enrolled. Among them, 28, 5, and 2 cases of acute alachlor, metachlor, butachlor poisoning were included. The mean age was 49.8 ± 15.4 yr. The poison severity score (PSS) was 17 (48.6%), 10 (28.6%), 5 (14.3%), 2 (5.7%), and 1 (2.9%) patients with a PSS of 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The age was higher for the symptomatic patients (1-4 PSS) than that for the asymptomatic patients (0 PSS) (43.6 ± 15.2 vs 55.7 ± 13.5). The arterial blood HCO₃⁻ was lower in the symptomatic patients (1-4 PSS) than that in the asymptomatic patients (0 PSS). Three patients were a comatous. One patient died 24 hr after the exposure. In conclusion, although chloracetanilide poisoning is usually of low toxicity, elder patients with central nervous system symptoms should be closely monitored and cared after oral exposure.
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