Background/Aims: Based on preliminary in vitro data from a previous study, we proposed that 50 mg/kg glutathione (GSH) would be adequate for suppressing reactive oxygen species in patients with acute paraquat (PQ) intoxication. Methods: Serum levels of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM) were measured before and after the administration of 50 mg/kg GSH to each of five patients with acute PQ intoxication. Results: In one patient, extremely high pretreatment ROM levels began to decrease prior to GSH administration. However, in the remaining four cases, ROM levels did not change significantly prior to GSH administration. ROM levels decreased significantly after GSH administration in all cases. In two cases, ROM levels decreased below that observed in the general population; one of these patients died after a cardiac arrest at 3 hours after PQ ingestion, while the other represented the sole survivor of PQ intoxication observed in this study. In the survivor, ROM levels decreased during the first 8 hours of GSH treatment, and finally dropped below the mean ROM level observed in the general population. Conclusions: Treatment with 50 mg/kg GSH significantly suppressed serum ROM levels in PQ-intoxicated patients. However, this dose was not sufficient to suppress ROM levels when the PQ concentration was extremely high. (Korean J Intern Med 2010;25:282-287
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