Liver injury in workers exposed to dimethylformamide

L. E. Fleming, S. L. Shalat, C. A. Redlich

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37 Scopus citations


An apparent epidemic cluster of toxic liver disease was reexamined among workers exposed to the solvent dimethylformamide. A demographically similar but unexposed group from a preemployment population was used for comparison. Analysis, after data transformation of the liver transaminases, revealed significant differences between the two populations with respect to the serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase and the ratio of serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase to serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase. Thus a value of the ratio <1 may be suggestive of toxic liver disease. Medical surveillance of the working population for 14 months revealed no further cases of toxic liver disease. Dimethylformamide was almost certainly the causative agent of the original epidemic. The use of preemployment populations as a source of unexposed subjects in the analysis of occupational clusters is recommended, especially in the scenario of relatively acute, and highly prevalent, occupational diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990


  • Cluster analysis
  • Occupational clusters
  • Preemployment screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Toxicology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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