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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 104-106

Inhalational exposure to dimethyl sulfate vapor followed by reactive airway dysfunction syndrome

1 Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Firouzgar Teaching Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Internal Medicine Ward, Firouzgar Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Nasim Zamani
Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Yaft-abad Hospital, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.75700

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Dimethyl sulfate (DMS) is an oily liquid used as a solvent, stabilizer, sulfonation agent, and catalyst. Exposure to DMS primarily happens in the workplace via inhalational contact and damages the upper and lower airways. Our manuscript reports a case of DMS-related reactive airway dysfunction syndrome ( RADS). The patient was a healthy 29-year-old man who was referred to our ER after accidental exposure to the vapor of DMS with the complaint of dyspnea, dry cough, photophobia, and hoarseness. His vital signs were normal except for a low-grade fever. Redness of the pharynx, conjunctivitis, and cholinergic signs and symptoms were present. Conservative management with O 2 and fluid therapy was initiated. Twenty hours later, the patient became drowsy and his respiratory symptoms exacerbated; chest X-ray revealed haziness in the base of the right lung and prominence of the vessels of the lung hillum. After 1 week, the liver transaminases rose and C-reactive protein elevated (2+). The patient got better with conservative treatment and was discharged after 9 days; however, exertional dyspnea, wheezing, and thick white sputum persisted and therefore, reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS) related to DMS vapor was confirmed which was treated by prednisolone. Exertional dyspnea continued up to 10 months. Hoarseness lasted for 6 months. This case shows that DMS vapor inhalation can cause RADS especially in the chemical workers who continue working in the contaminated place despite the relatively good air conditioning.


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