Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Thursday, 06 / 27 / 2019


Aliphatic Halogenated Hydrocarbons: Report and Analysis of Liver Injury in 60 Patients


Aliphatic Halogenated Hydrocarbons: Report and Analysis of Liver Injury in 60 Patients

Rolf Teschke

Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Klinikum Hanau, Hanau, Academic Teaching Hospital of the Medical Faculty, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Frankfurt/Main, Germany

*Correspondence to: Rolf Teschke, Department of Internal Medicine II, Klinikum Hanau, Teaching Hospital of the Goethe University of Frankfurt/Main, Leimenstrasse 20, Hanau D-63450, Germany. Tel.: +49-6181-21859, Fax: +49-6181-2964211, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2018;6(4):350-361 DOI: 10.14218/JCTH.2018.00040
Received: June 27, 2018 Accepted: August 23, 2018 Published online: November 16, 2018


Background and Aims: Intoxications by aliphatic halogenated hydrocarbons (AHH), used as effective solvents, are rare and may cause life-threatening liver injury. Patients with acute intoxications by AHH received an innovative treatment.

Methods: Analyzed were data of 60 patients intoxicated by AHH, such as dichloromethane (n = 3), chloroform (n = 2), carbon tetrachloride (n = 12), 1,2-dichloroethane (n = 18), 1,1,2-trichloroethane (n = 2), trichloroethylene (n = 2), tetrachloroethylene (n = 13) or mixed AHH chemicals (n = 8), who received a new treatment consisting of CO2-induced hyperventilation to accelerate toxin removal via the lungs.

Results: Added to the inspiration air at a flow rate of 2–3 Liter min−1, CO2 increased the respiratory volume up to 25–30 Liter min−1, ensuring forced AHH exhalation. This CO2-induced hyperventilation therapy was commonly well tolerated by the 60 patients and lasted for 106.0±10.5 hours. In most cases, initially increased liver test results of aminotransferases normalized quickly under the therapy, and liver histology obtained at completion of the therapy revealed, in the majority of patients, normal findings or fatty changes, and rarely severe single cell necrosis but no confluent liver cell necrosis. Despite therapy, clinical outcome was unfavorable for 4/60 patients (6.7%) of the study cohort, due to single or combined risk factors. These included late initiation of the CO2-induced hyperventilation therapy, intentional intoxication, uptake of high amounts of AHH, concomitant ingestion of overdosed drugs, consumption of high amounts of alcohol, and history of alcohol abuse.

Conclusions: For intoxications by AHH, effective therapy approaches including forced hyperventilation to increase toxin removal via the lungs are available and require prompt initiation.


Aliphatic halogenated hydrocarbons, Dichloromethane, Chloroform, Carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-dichloroethane




Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2018 vol. 6, 350-361  [ Html ] [ PDF Full-text ]


© The Authors 2018. This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license.



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