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Successful retrieval using ultrathin transnasal esophagogastroduodenoscopy of a significant amount of residual tricyclic antidepressant following serious toxicity: a case report

International Journal of Emergency Medicine
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1865-1380-6-39
  • Brief Research Report


Background In Japan, ultrathin transnasal esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) with a 4.9-mm diameter endoscope (Olympus XP260) is routinely used to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract. This procedure does not require sedation and does not affect vital signs. Gastric lavage is not empirically employed in the management of all poisoning patients. It is considered only for potentially life-threatening overdoses when the procedure can be performed within 1 h of ingestion of the poison. However, there are no absolute indications for gastric lavage. EGD may increase the indications, efficiency and safety of gastric lavage in poisoning patients. Findings A 35-year-old female was admitted to our emergency department 2 h after ingesting multiple drugs, including a critical dose of the tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) amitriptyline, at which time she was confused and had a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8 (E1V2M5). Endotracheal intubation was performed. To confirm the type of TCA and in order to determine whether gastric lavage was required, we decided to perform EGD. Endoscopy demonstrated adherence of residual drugs to the stomach wall, in a soluble form and not as a mass. Hence, gastric lavage was performed via the EGD to avoid passage of these drugs into the small bowel. The patient was extubated on day 2, without the development of complications such as aspiration pneumonia, and was discharged on day 5. Conclusion EGD may be useful in poisoning patients for determining the amount of residual drug in the stomach, also allowing direct observation of the effectiveness of gastric lavage.

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