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Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

, 27:13

First Online: 28 April 2015Received: 22 August 2013Accepted: 22 December 2014DOI: 10.1186-s40557-015-0063-2

Cite this article as: Kim, HJ., Chung, Y.K., Kwak, K.M. et al. Ann of Occup and Environ Med 2015 27: 13. doi:10.1186-s40557-015-0063-2


ObjectiveAcute carbon monoxide poisoning has important clinical value because it can cause severe adverse cardiovascular effects and sudden death. Acute carbon monoxide poisoning due to charcoal is well reported worldwide, and increased use of charcoal in the restaurant industry raises concern for an increase in occupational health problems. We present a case of carbon monoxide poisoning induced cardiomyopathy in a 47-year-old restaurant worker.

Materials and methodsA male patient was brought to the emergency department to syncope and complained of left chest pain. Cardiac angiography and electrocardiography were performed to rule out acute ischemic heart disease, and cardiac markers were checked. After relief of the symptoms and stabilization of the cardiac markers, the patient was discharged without any complications.

ResultsElectrocardiography was normal, but cardiac angiography showed up to a 40% midsegmental stenosis of the right coronary artery with thrombotic plaque. The level of cardiac markers was elevated at least 5 to 10 times higher than the normal value, and the carboxyhemoglobin concentration was 35% measured at one hour after syncope. Following the diagnosis of acute carbon monoxide poisoning induced cardiomyopathy, the patient’s medical history and work exposure history were examined. He was found to have been exposed to burning charcoal constantly during his work hours.

ConclusionsSevere exposure to carbon monoxide was evident in the patient because of high carboxyhemoglobin concentration and highly elevated cardiac enzymes. We concluded that this exposure led to subsequent cardiac injury. He was diagnosed with acute carbon monoxide poisoning-induced cardiomyopathy due to an unsafe working environment. According to the results, the risk of exposure to noxious chemicals such as carbon monoxide by workers in the food service industry is potentially high, and workers in this sector should be educated and monitored by the occupational health service to prevent adverse effects.

KeywordsCarbon monoxide poisoning Cardiomyopathy Charcoal Restaurant worker  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Hyun-Jun Kim - Yun Kyung Chung - Kyeong Min Kwak - Se-Jin Ahn - Yong-Hyun Kim - Young-Su Ju - Young-Jun Kwon - Eun-A Kim


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