A case of acute kidney injury due to ethylene glycol intoxication


In this article we describe a case of acute kidney injury caused by ethylene glycol intoxication which partially reversed after temporary hemodialysis treatment. The diagnosis was obtained after the patient’s clinical history and the finding of ethylene glycol in the blood, numerous intratubular crystals at renal biopsy, and the presence of large amounts of atypical – spindle-like and needle-like – calcium oxalate crystals in the urinary sediment.

Keywords: Ethylene glycol, acute kidney injury, urinary sediment, calcium oxalate crystals


Ethylene glycol (EG) is a fluid used in antifreeze solutions, whose ingestion occurs by mistake (especially in children and in work accidents) or intentionally, for suicidal purposes or for its ethanol-like euphoric effect [1]. The ingestion of EG causes a multiorgan involvement including the kidneys due to acute intratubular calcium oxalate precipitation with consequent tubular obstruction and acute kidney injury (AKI) [2, 3].

In this article, we describe a patient who developed AKI after EG ingestion for suicidal purposes, which partially reversed after hemodialysis treatment. 

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