Journal Article

A Fatal Case of Acute Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning Caused by Hydrogen Sulfide: Hydroxocobalamin Therapy for Acute Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning

Yuji Fujita, Yasuhisa Fujino, Makoto Onodera, Satoshi Kikuchi, Tomohiro Kikkawa, Yoshihiro Inoue, Hisae Niitsu, Katsuo Takahashi and Shigeatsu Endo

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 35, issue 2, pages 119-123
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online March 2011 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/anatox/35.2.119
A Fatal Case of Acute Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning Caused by Hydrogen Sulfide: Hydroxocobalamin Therapy for Acute Hydrogen Sulfide Poisoning

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A patient committed suicide with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) by combining two commercial products. The patient was given hydroxocobalamin as an antidote in addition to treatment with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but died approximately 42 min after his arrival at the hospital. The patient's cause of death was attributed to acute hydrogen sulfide poisoning. Serum concentrations of sulfide before and after administration of hydroxocobalamin were 0.22 and 0.11 µg/mL, respectively; serum concentrations of thiosulfate before and after hydroxocobalamin administration were 0.34 and 0.04 µmol/mL, respectively. Hydroxocobalamin is believed to form a complex with H2S in detoxification pathways of H2S. Although H2S is rapidly metabolized and excreted, the decreased sulfide concentration may be also associated with this complex formation. The decreased sulfide concentration suggests that hydroxocobalamin therapy may be effective for acute H2S poisoning. The decreased thiosulfate concentration seems to be associated with formation of a thiosulfate/hydroxocobalamin complex, because hydroxocobalamin can form a complex with thiosulfate. The thiosulfate concentration decreased to a greater extent than did sulfide, suggesting that hydroxocobalamin has a higher affinity for thiosulfate than for H2S. Therefore, prompt administration of hydroxocobalamin after H2S exposure may be effective for H2S poisoning.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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