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VOLUME 20 , ISSUE 12 ( 2016 ) > List of Articles


Thoughts on the current management of acute aluminum phosphide toxicity and proposals for therapy: An Evidence-based review

Sayed Marashi, Maryam Farahani, Davood Soroosh

Keywords : Aluminum phosphide, new therapies, phosphine, toxicity

Citation Information : Marashi S, Farahani M, Soroosh D. Thoughts on the current management of acute aluminum phosphide toxicity and proposals for therapy: An Evidence-based review. Indian J Crit Care Med 2016; 20 (12):724-730.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.195712

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-11-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).


The majority of aluminum phosphide (ALP) toxicity cases are suicidal attempts. Despite advances in critical care medicine, the mortality rate of ALP remains very high. Unfortunately, knowledge on the toxicokinetics of ALP is very low. An obsolete idea was proposed that inhibition of complex IV of cytochrome C oxidase is responsible for multiorgan dysfunction. However, based on human studies, this effect might be insignificant. Thus, a novel idea proposes that the main mechanism might be vascular wall integrity disruption. The low frequency of acute toxicity and unanswered questions about the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics has led to leaden advances of novel treatments. The aim of this review was to evaluate problems regarding current treatment protocols and propose new ideas based on updated information. For this purpose, we reviewed all available articles on the management of ALP poisoning published to date. Considering failure of conventional therapies on maintaining systolic blood pressure, correcting acid-base disturbances, and support cardiac function, the previous treatment protocols have been overruled. However, repudiate of conventional treatments in this deadly condition is not without penalties for the health-care provider. The introduction of new therapies including refuse of gastric lavage with water-soluble compounds, administration of a high molecular weight colloidal solution for fluid resuscitation and termination using sodium bicarbonate, and vasoactive agents has been prospected to improve patient survival. This protocol is in early clinical evaluation; nevertheless, it appears to improve patient′s survival; hence, future randomized trials should be performed to support their effectiveness.

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