Document Detail

Lethal injection of potassium chloride: first description of the pathological appearance of organs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19924677     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Lethal injection of potassium chloride (KCl) can be used as a method of either suicide or homicide. As biological tests are still inadequate to differentiate endogenous from exogenous potassium, at the scene of death the cause can only be suspected. We wished to determine the usefulness of conventional pathological examination in this context and carried out a study in four fetuses after medical termination of pregnancy for serious disease. Pregnancy was terminated by KCl injection in two cases and by injection of lidocaine and sufentanil in the other two cases. In each of the two fetuses in which KCl injection was performed, macroscopic examination showed whitish deposits on the tissues and histological examination showed clumps of lanceolate crystals in the internal organs. In the two fetuses which received lidocaine and sufentanil injection, no deposits were visible on macroscopic examination and no crystals were seen on histological examination. These findings suggest that pathological study may have useful applications in forensic medicine when death by potassium injection is suspected.
Béma Coulibaly; Marie-Dominique Piercecchi-Marti; Christophe Bartoli; Agnes Liprandi; Georges Léonetti; Jean-François Pellissier
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of applied toxicology : JAT     Volume:  30     ISSN:  1099-1263     ISO Abbreviation:  J Appl Toxicol     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-25     Completed Date:  2010-09-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8109495     Medline TA:  J Appl Toxicol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  378-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Service d'Anatomie Pathologique et de Neuropathologie, CHU Timone, 264 rue Saint Pierre, 13385 Marseille Cedex 05, France.
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MeSH Terms
Aborted Fetus / pathology
Abortion, Eugenic / methods
Abortion, Induced / methods
Adrenal Glands / drug effects,  embryology,  pathology
Fetal Heart / drug effects,  embryology,  pathology
Forensic Pathology / methods*
Kidney / drug effects,  embryology,  pathology
Lidocaine / administration & dosage
Pancreas / drug effects,  embryology,  pathology
Postmortem Changes*
Potassium Chloride / administration & dosage,  pharmacokinetics,  poisoning*
Sufentanil / administration & dosage
Reg. No./Substance:
137-58-6/Lidocaine; 56030-54-7/Sufentanil; 7447-40-7/Potassium Chloride

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