An Epidemic of Urinary Retention Caused by Dimethylaminopropionitrile

James P. Keogh, Debra Wertheimer, Alan Pestronk, Rebecca Moreland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


An epidemic of urinary retention among workers in a polyurethane manufacturing plant was discovered in the spring of 1978. The most severely affected workers had neurogenic bladders confirmed by cystometrograms and mild sensory peripheral neuropathy. A survey of the plant disclosed increased incidence of urinary retention, muscle weakness, paresthesia, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction in exposed workers. A catalyst containing dimethylaminopropionitrile was identified as the probable causative agent, and after its removal no new cases occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-749
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 22 1980


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