Journal List > Korean J Leg Med > v.39(2) > 1087964

Park, Jeong, and Lee: Homicidal Paraquat Poisoning in Exhumed Case


Paraquat is a nonselective herbicide, but its lethal and toxic effects are well known. Although its chemical additives have an unpleasant taste, this can be shrouded in spicy foods or drinks with strong tastes, and some symptoms and signs of paraquat poisoning can be mistaken as natural disease. For this reason, it is not easy to consider the possibility of homicidal paraquat poisoning for a clinician or even for a forensic pathologist. We present a case of homicidal poisoning by paraquat with significant forensic findings from postmortem examination and with a review of relevant literature.


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Table 1.
Paraquat concentrations in postmortem tissues (ng/g of tissue), urine, and cardiac blood: comparison of our case with other cases
Tissue/Blood Concentration (ng/g or ng/mL)
Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Our case
Lung 11,856 660 5,095 2,231 0,500 0.8
Liver 04,355 340 0,973 0,879 0,100 1.3
Spleen Not done Not done Not done Not done Not done 5.5
Kidney 05,662 575 1,044 1,145 0,998 4.2
Heart 000,23 001 000,3 000,7 Not detected Not done
Duodenal wall 03,100 260 2,320 0,168 2,830 Not done
Gastric wall 01,234 190 0,200 00,94 0,160 1.5
Diaphragm 00,305 016 0,130 0,131 0,010 Not done
Urine 13,539 078 0,592 0,177 0,500 Not done
Cardiac blood 19,500 Not detected 0,290 00,90 Not detected Not detected
Bone Not done Not done Not done Not done Not done 2.3

Adopted from Dinis-Oliveira RJ, et al. PLoS One 2009;4:e7149, according to the Creative Commons License of PLoS [10].

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