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Measurement of digitalis-glycoside levels in ocular tissues: a way to improve postmortem diagnosis of lethal digitalis-glycoside poisoning? II. Digitoxin.

Authors
  • Ritz, S1
  • Harding, P
  • Martz, W
  • Schütz, H W
  • Kaatsch, H J
  • 1 Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Federal Republic of Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of legal medicine
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1992
Volume
105
Issue
3
Pages
155–159
Identifiers
PMID: 1419876
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Postmortem digitoxin levels in the choroid-retina and vitreous humor of patients who had undergone digitoxin therapy (therapeutic group) and in one case of suicidal digitoxin poisoning were measured and compared with levels in femoral vein blood, myocardium, kidney and liver. The results were interpreted in light of the medical history of each patient. The digitoxin level in the choroid-retina of the single case of suicidal poisoning was far higher than the choroid-retinal levels in the therapeutic group. In the latter, variation in choroid-retinal levels was comparable to that in the other tissues. In cases where the choroid-retina of the right and left eyes were examined, digitoxin levels in both eyes were essentially equal. There was no indication of significant changes in choroid-retinal levels due to postmortem diffusion of digitoxin into the vitreous body. Based on these results, determination of digitoxin levels in the choroid-retina could contribute to improving postmortem diagnosis of lethal digitoxin poisoning.

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