What is the basis for diagnosis and treatment of acetaminophen toxicity/poisoning?

Updated: Jan 17, 2020
  • Author: Susan E Farrell, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

The serum acetaminophen concentration is the basis for diagnosis and treatment. A diagnostic serum concentration is helpful, even in the absence of clinical symptoms, because clinical symtpoms are delayed. The Rumack-Matthew nomogram interprets the acetaminophen concentration (in micrograms per mL), in relation to time (in hours) after ingestion, and is predictive of possible hepatotoxicity after single, acute ingestions of acetaminophen.


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