BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-02-2012-5926
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Brake fluid toxicity feigning brain death

  1. Khurram A Siddiqui
  1. Department of Neurology, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shahpar Nahrir, s_nahrir{at}

Brake fluid (glycol-based) toxicity is known to have a protean of central and peripheral nervous system manifestations. The principal component of this household poison is ethylene glycol. Toxic effect is generally attributed to peri-vascular deposition of calcium oxalate crystals in various tissues. However, clinical features resembling brain death have rarely been reported. We report a case of brake fluid toxicity simulating brain death in a 21-year-old healthy man who ingested it as a recreational agent.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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