What is the role of lab tests in the workup of isopropanol alcohol toxicity?

Updated: Jan 05, 2021
  • Author: Michael D Levine, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Serum levels of isopropanol can be obtained but are somewhat of limited value, as the treatment is largely supportive. However, they can be useful in confirming the diagnosis.

After correcting for all other variables, including ethanol, the serum isopropanol level can be estimated by multiplying the remaining osmolar gap by 6.0. Serum ketones will often be positive, although the patient should not be acidotic. Because ketones will be present in the serum as early as 30 minutes after ingestion, if there is no coexisting ethanol ingestion, the absence of ketones effectively rules out isopropanol ingestion.

Depending on the assay used in the laboratory, significant ketosis can cause interference with the creatinine assay. As such, the serum creatinine level can be falsely elevated.

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