Association between life-threatening cocaine toxicity and plasma cholinesterase activity

Robert S. Hoffman, Glendon C. Henry, Mary Ann Howland, Richard S Weisman, Lawrence Weil, Lewis R. Goldfrank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Study objective: To determine whether plasma cholinesterase (pseudocholinesterase) activity is a marker for severe cocaine toxicity. Design: A prevalence study in a cohort of cocaine users. Setting: A large urban emergency department. Participants: During a three-month period in 1989, 187 patients who presented to the ED on 191 consecutive occasions with signs and symptoms consistent with cocaine intoxication were prospectively enrolled in the study protocol. Methods and measurements: All patients had plasma cholinesterase activity determined by the electrometric method. The patients who were cocaine positive were stratified into one of two groups: life-threatening toxicity (LT) and non-life-threatening toxicity (NLT), based on a predetermined set of criteria. Cocaine-negative patients served as controls for the LT group if criteria were otherwise met. Results: Mean (±SD) plasma cholinesterase activities for the LT, NLT, and control groups were 682 ± 277, 904 ± 279, and 1,058 ± 385 Michel units/L, respectively. All three groups were significantly different from each other (P < .05 by analysis of variance). Conclusion: The data suggest that decreased plasma cholinesterase activity is associated with increased risk of life-threatening cocaine toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cholinesterases
Cocaine
Pseudocholinesterase
Signs and Symptoms
Hospital Emergency Service
Analysis of Variance
Cross-Sectional Studies
Control Groups

Keywords

  • cocaine
  • plasma cholinesterase
  • toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

Association between life-threatening cocaine toxicity and plasma cholinesterase activity. / Hoffman, Robert S.; Henry, Glendon C.; Howland, Mary Ann; Weisman, Richard S; Weil, Lawrence; Goldfrank, Lewis R.

In: Annals of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 21, No. 3, 01.01.1992, p. 247-253.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hoffman, Robert S. ; Henry, Glendon C. ; Howland, Mary Ann ; Weisman, Richard S ; Weil, Lawrence ; Goldfrank, Lewis R. / Association between life-threatening cocaine toxicity and plasma cholinesterase activity. In: Annals of Emergency Medicine. 1992 ; Vol. 21, No. 3. pp. 247-253.
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