Q2.7

Question of the Week

Why does the urine of patients who have ingested ethylene glycol fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light?

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17 Responses

  1. Many commercial radiator antifreeze products have fluorescein added to enable radiator leaks to be detected using a Wood’s lamp. So it is for the convenience of repairing the car.

  2. Fluorescein is regularly added to commercial antifreeze to help detect radiator leaks.

  3. It’s due to the oxalate crystals.

  4. “Fluorescein is a fluorescent dye added to antifreeze preparations to aid in the detection of radiator leaks. In addition to the history and elevated osmolar and anion gaps, the fluorescence of urine under ultraviolet light may aid in the early identification of ethylene glycol poisoning.”

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm050226

  5. Ethylene glycol is usually ingested as antifreeze. In this form, fluorescein stain is added to help with identifying radiator leaks. The dye is renally excreted and causes the urine fluorescence.

  6. because of the fluorescein which is added to many (but not all) commercial antifreezes.

  7. Fluorescein is added to antifreeze preparations to aid in the detection of radiator leaks. Hence the reason it fluoresces.

  8. Fluoresceine is an ultraviolet dye added to antifreeze (most commonly, ethylene glycol) to aid in the identification of radiator leaks. It is what gives antifreeze the attractive blues, greens, and purples that is thought to be part of the reason kids ingest it in the first place.
    Though there are other agents that may cause urine to fluoresce (especially in pediatric patients), fluorescent urine in a suspected ingestion patient can be a useful diagnostic tool.

  9. Well – the additivefluorecien is in ethylene glycol…iti does fluoresce. But so does normal urine and so does the urine of people on manmy antibitics and vitamins.
    So this is a test that may be positive, but is not sensitive nor specific and a negative should not guide your treatment.

  10. Manufactures of Antifreeze, (Ethylene Glycol) add Fluorescein to product to enable mechanics to locate the source of a fluid leaking from a car. It also enables doctors suspecting ethylene glycol poisoning to check urine although it is neither sensitive or specific because some containers also fluoresce. If urine and container are differentiated and the urine still fluoresce it is an indication to begin treatment and monitoring of calcium and obtaining and ECG. It is also sometimes, not helpful because fluorescein is excreted in urine faster (renal clearance 1.75 ml/min/kg) than ethylene glycol. Fluorescein fluoresce because the Hydrocarbon is excited by the light emitted from UV light and it causes the chemical to emit a yellow green color.

  11. radiator antifreeze products have fluorescein added to enable radiator leaks to be detected using a Wood’s lamp

  12. Some Of The brands of radiator antifreeze, which is what ethylene glycol is used for, contain fluoroscein which will then light up in urine or vomit under UV light. It is The dye that fluoresces. This can aid in diagnoses along with history Of ingestion but is not used as a reliable screening tool. We should still obtain anion gap levels And osmolar gap levels. According to PEDIATRICS vol. 109 No 2 Feb 2002 pp.345, rapid assay for ethylene glycol is the definitive diagnostic test in suspected cases Of EG ingestion if available.

  13. There is fluorescein dye that is added as an ingredient to the fluid along with the ethylene glycol. Usually found in radiator solutions/ antifreeze.

  14. Manufactures of Antifreeze, (Ethylene Glycol) add Fluorescein to product to enable mechanics to locate the source of a fluid leaking from a car. It also enables doctors suspecting ethylene glycol poisoning to check urine although it is neither sensitive or specific because some containers also fluoresce. If urine and container are differentiated and the urine still fluoresce it is an indication to begin treatment and monitoring of calcium and obtaining and ECG. It is also sometimes, not helpful because fluorescein is excreted in urine faster (renal clearance 1.75 ml/min/kg) than ethylene glycol. Fluorescein fluoresce because the Hydrocarbon is excited by the light emitted from UV light and it causes the chemical to emit a yellow green color.

  15. fluorescent dye is added to antifreeze to help identify radiator leaks

  16. Some brands of antifreeze contains floresceine.

  17. The fluorescein from the radiator fluid

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