Acute alcoholism with myoglobinuria: an autopsy case report

Bao Li Zhu, L. Quan, Shigeki Oritani, Kaori Ishida, Masaki Q. Fujita, Masafumi Ogawa, Hitoshi Maeda

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We report an autopsy case of fatal acute alcoholism showing myoglobinuria and myocardial damage. The victim was a 29-year-old male, who was found drunk at his home. Although he was once brought to a hospital following a police officer's advice, he was taken into custody without effective medical care due to his violent behavior, and died about 16 hours later. Autopsy revealed marked congestion of the viscera and fatty liver. Histologically, skeletal muscle and myocardium showed focal degeneration and necrosis. Immunohistochemical investigation revealed a diffuse myoglobin loss from muscle fibers. Alcohol concentrations were 0.54 mg/ml, 0.79 mg/ml and 2.53 mg/ml in the left, right heart blood and urine, respectively. No other drugs or poisons were detected. The urine was dark brown, showing marked myoglobinuria. Cardiac troponin T, I and CK-MB in the pericardial fluid showed elevated levels even when postmortem influence was taken into consideration. From these observations, the cause of death was determined as myocardial damage from advanced acute alcoholic myopathy accompanied by myoglobinuria, possibly with underlying alcohol abuse. The present case suggests that careful clinical observation and adequate management are essential for an alcoholic patient with neurological symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalChūdoku kenkyū : Chūdoku Kenkyūkai jun kikanshi = The Japanese journal of toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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