Clinical neurology and neurosurgery

Encephalomyeloradiculoneuropathy following exposure to an industrial solvent.

PMID 10536908


A 19-year-old male developed complaints including weakness of the lower extremities and right hand, numbness, dysphagia and urinary difficulties following a 2 month exposure to an industrial solvent constituted mainly of 1-bromopropane, but also containing butylene oxide, 1,3 dioxolane, nitromethane, and other components. Nerve conduction studies revealed evidence of a primary, symmetric demyelinating polyneuropathy. Evidence of CNS involvement came from gadolinium enhanced MRI scans of the brain, showing patchy areas of increased T2 signal in the periventricular white matter, similar scans of the spinal cord revealing root enhancement at several lumbar levels, and SSEP studies. The patient's symptoms had started to resolve following the discontinuation of the exposure, before he was lost to follow-up. Similar findings have been reported following 1-bromopropane exposure in rats. I hypothesize that this patient's symptoms may have been due to 1-bromopropane-induced neurotoxicity.