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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Combination of fatal digoxin poisoning with endocardial fibroelastosis.

This is the first report in the forensic literature of a combination of fatal digoxin poisoning with endocardial fibroelastosis (EFE). Typical morphological features of EFE as the cause of clinically diagnosed cardiomyopathy were present in the autopsy of a 3-year-old girl, including cardiac hypertrophy and marked thickening of the left-sided endocardium, consisting of numerous elastic and collagenic fibres. After exclusion of cardiac and cerebral causes of death, accidental digoxin intoxication was proved. Postmortem toxicological analyses by fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA) disclosed digoxin levels of 71 micrograms/kg (femoral vein blood), 77 micrograms/kg (cardiac blood), 255 and 221 micrograms/kg (cardiac muscle of the right and left chamber), 163 micrograms/kg (psoas muscle), 91 micrograms/kg (lung), 222 micrograms/kg (liver) and 520 micrograms/kg (kidney). The results are compared with the antemortem digoxin concentration of 39 ng/ml serum. The case is discussed from its unusual morphological and toxicological aspects, with special consideration of possible medical malpractice.[1]


  1. Combination of fatal digoxin poisoning with endocardial fibroelastosis. Grellner, W., Käferstein, H., Sticht, G. Forensic Sci. Int. (1997) [Pubmed]
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