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Journal of the Korean Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine 1997;21(1):216-222.
Encephalopathy Induced by Ammonia Inhalation: Case Reports.
Kim, Sang Kyu , Lee, Chung Ki , Kim, Hyun Jin
1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine, Chuugbuk National University, Korea.
2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Korea.
3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, National Police Hospital, Korea.
암모니아 흡입에 의한 뇌병증 -증례 보고-
김상규, 이청기*, 김현진**
충북대학교, 이화여자대학교* 및 국립경찰병원** 재활의학과

Ammonia is a colorless alkaline gas with a sharp pungent odor. It is widely used in industry and there are several case reports on deleterious pulmonary damage. Ammonia is also highly neurotoxic that interferes energy metabolism in the brain even with a small amount and causes encephalopat hy in patients with severe liver disease.

We experienced two patients with toxic encephalopathy and followed- up for 18 months. We assumed that ammonia was supposed to play a major role in the dysfunction of their brains. In our cases, the possible mechanisms of brain damage are as followings: ⸁ ammonia has direct toxic effect on brain by altering the energy metabolism, ⸂ inhalation of ammonia results in severe pulmonary damage and it may aggravate brain injury, and ⸃ besides ammonia itself, relatively hypoxic environment that they were exposed can take part in the brain injury.

Key Words: Ammonia, Encephalopathy, Cognitive function, Brain SPECT


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