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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


CAVALIERE, Maria J.; CALORE, Edenilson E.; PEREZ, Nilda M.  and  RODRIGUES PUGA, Flávio. Organophosphate myotoxicity. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1996, vol.30, n.3, pp.267-272. ISSN 1518-8787.

Organophosphates comprise a group of chemical compounds extensively used in farming as insecticides, which cause accidental poisoning in animals and men and are also used in suicide attempts. The toxicity of these compounds is due especially to the cardiac and respiratory impairment in consequence of autonomic nervous system disorders. However, it is known that some of these products induce a myopathy in experimental animals and humans. This myopathy is characterized by muscle cell degeneration, involving above all the respiratory muscles. Based on the fact that this involvement certainly enhances the respiratory impairment, this study offers an experimental method for routine evaluation of organophosphate myotoxicity, using a minimal and sufficient battery of stains and histochemical reactions, for muscle necrosis quantification. For this purpose, albino rats (Wistar) treated with the organophosphate paraoxon, were used both with and without antidotes (atropine or pralidoxime). Muscle fiber necrosis in the diaphragm of the rats treated with paraoxon or paraoxon and atropine, that affected about 15% of the fibers in some areas, was detected. In the group treated with paraoxon and pralidoxime, a minimal necrosis was seen, revealing a protective role of this later antidote during the development of myopathy.

Keywords : Insecticides, organophosphate [toxicology]; Muscle fibers [pathology].

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