Journal List > Korean J Occup Environ Med > v.12(3) > 1126080

Kim, Cheong, and Kwon: Evaluation of Early Neurologic Abnormalities on the Workers Exposed to Acrylamide



Acrylamide is a neurotoxin inducing central-peripheral distal axonopathy. The authors evaluated several neurologic tests to screen the early effect of occupational acrylamide exposure.


Fifty-two males working either in the production of acrylamide monomer or in the handling of acrylamide in Ulsan, Korea, were selected and subcategorized into the high-exposure group (n=10, mean age of 30. 4 years) and the low-exposure group (n=42, mean age of 28.9 years). Twenty-three males (mean age 29.4 years) from medical professionals and students were chosen as a non-exposed reference group. Symptom questionnaire, neurologic examination, electrodiagnostic test, vibrotactile threshold test, and Lanthony desaturated 15 panel test (LD-15D) were done.


The high-exposure group showed more number of specific symptoms on questionnaire and more abnormal two point discrimination test. High-exposure group showed a significant difference in the median motor conduction velocity, peroneal nerve motor latency, sensory amplitude of median nerve action potential, and sensory latency of sural nerve. The vibrotactile threshold of the high-exposure group was significantly higher in both hands and feet than that of the low-exposure group and the reference group. Average color confusion index on the LD-15D was significantly higher in the high-exposure group (median 22.7, range 0-135.7) than in the reference group (median 2.4, range 0-33.2).


The symptom questionnaire, vibrotactile threshold test, and color discrimination test are sensitive in detection of the early acrylamide-induced neuropathy, and the combination of these tests would further facilitate the effectiveness of the screening.

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