Volatile substances are used widespread, especially among young people, as a cheap and easily accessible drug. Tetrachloroethylene is one of the solvents exerting effects on the central nervous system with experiences of disinhibition and euphoria. The case presented is that of a 27-year-old female, found dead by her father at home with cotton swabs dipped in the nostrils. She was already known for this type of abuse and previously admitted twice to the hospital for nonfatal acute poisonings. The swabs were still soaked in tetrachloroethylene. Toxicological and histological investigations demonstrated the presence of an overlap between chronic intake of the substance (with high concentrations in sites of accumulation, e.g., the adipose tissue, and contemporary tissue damage, as histologically highlighted) and acute intoxication as final cause of death, with a concentration of 158 mg/L in cardiac blood and 4915 mg/kg in the adipose tissue. No other drugs or medicines were detected in body fluids or tissues, and to our knowledge, this is the highest concentration ever detected in forensic cases. This peculiar case confirms the toxicity of this substance and focuses on the importance of complete histological and toxicological investigations in the distinction between chronic abuse and acute intoxication.
|Titolo:||Death due to acute tetrachloroethylene intoxication in a chronic abuser|
|Parole Chiave:||Tetrachloroethylene; Perchloroethylene; Chronic abuse; Death; Intoxication; Poisoning|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||mag-2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s00414-015-1143-0|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|