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The authors report a case series of 21 patients (41 eyes) diagnosed with acute methanol poisoning following an outbreak in Tunisia in 2020. All patients underwent a complete ophthalmological examination including visual fields, colour vision test and optical coherence tomography with evaluation of the retinal nerve fibre layer. The aim of the report was to report ocular manifestations associated with the poisoning. The incidence of methanol poisoning outbreaks has increased in recent years, mainly in the form of clusters as reported here. Patients were classified into two groups, those with visual symptoms and those without. Results showed ocular abnormalities in 81.8% of patients with ocular symptoms. They included optic neuropathy in seven patients (63.6%); central retinal artery occlusion in one patient (9.1%); and central serous chorioretinopathy in one patient (9.1%). Furthermore, mean blood methanol levels were significantly higher in patients without ocular symptoms (p=0.03). On the other hand, eye examination was within normal limits in two patients with ocular symptoms. The authors conclude that ophthalmological assessment is indicated in all cases of methanol intoxication.

Ocular manifestations after acute methanol poisoning.
Rym M, Wijden N, Hela M, et al.
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Claire Howard

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford, UK.

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