UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: CT Findings of Tox Cases

Keywords: CT, carbon monoxide, cyanide (PubMed Search)

Posted: 11/29/2012 by Fermin Barrueto, MD (Updated: 8/20/2019)
Click here to contact Fermin Barrueto, MD

It is not often that a CT will be able to give you a hint to a toxicologic diagnosis. The following are CT findings that are either suggestive and even sometimes almost diagnostic for a given to toxin:

1) Intraparenchymal or Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: sympathomimetics or mycotic anuerysm rupture secondary to IV drug abuse

2) Basal Ganglia bilateral focal necrosis: characteristic of carbon monoxide, cyanide, hydrogen sulfide and even methanol

3) Severe advanced atrophy out of proportion for age: alcoholism, toluene

References

Adapted from Goldfranks Textbook of Toxicologic Emergencies 8th edition, p.82 Table 6-5.