GSBS Student Publications


Pathophysiology of respiratory failure following acute dichlorvos poisoning in a rodent model

Student Author(s)

Romolo Gaspari

GSBS Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine; Department of Neurology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Acute Disease; Algorithms; Anesthesia, General; Anesthesia, Inhalation; Animals; Blood Gas Analysis; Blood Pressure; Carbon Dioxide; Cholinesterase Inhibitors; Data Interpretation, Statistical; Dichlorvos; Heart Rate; Male; Pesticides; Pulmonary Gas Exchange; Rats; Rats, Wistar; Respiration, Artificial; Respiratory Insufficiency


Life Sciences | Medical Toxicology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health


Organophosphate (OP) poisoning causes a cholinergic crisis with a wide range of clinical effects including central apnea, pulmonary bronchoconstriction and secretions, seizures, and muscle weakness. The morbidity and mortality from acute OP poisoning is attributed to respiratory failure but the relative contributions of the central and peripheral effects in producing collapse of the respiratory system are unclear. In this study we used a novel adult rat model of acute OP poisoning to analyze the pathophysiology of acute OP poisoning. We found that poisoning caused rapidly lethal central apnea. In animals sustained with mechanical ventilation, we found that following central apnea there ensued progressive pulmonary insufficiency that was variable in timing and severity. Our findings support the hypothesis that OP poisoning in this animal model causes a sequential "two hit" insult, with rapid central apnea followed by delayed impairment of pulmonary gas exchange with prominent airway secretions.

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Citation: Neurotoxicology. 2007 May;28(3):664-71. Epub 2007 Feb 11. Link to article on publisher's site

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