Two autopsy cases involving asphyxia by butane inhalation

S. Oritani, B. L. Zhu, K. Ishida, L. Quan, M. Taniguchi, M. Q. Fujita, K. Fukita, H. Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Two fatalities involving asphyxia by inhalation of fuel gas (n-butane), undergoing slight to moderate putrefaction, are presented. One victim (Case 1) was a middle-aged male, who was found dead totally covered by a plastic sheet, with an uncapped small portable fuel gas cylinder inside a plastic bag covering his head. The other one (Case 2) was a young female, who was found dead with a plastic bag at her hand and with a considerable number of empty fuel gas cylinders nearby, suggesting inhalation abuse. For both cases, the pathological examinations showed congestion, edema and parenchymal hemorrhages of the lung; immunohistochemical investigation revealed an evident increase in intra-alveolar pulmonary surfactant-associated protein A. n-Butane was not detected from blood, but could be identified in the brain of Cases 1 and 2, and in some other tissue specimens of Case 2. By considering the above findings comprehensively, it was reasonable to judge that the cause of their deaths was subacute asphyxia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Forensic Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Abuse
  • Asphyxia
  • Fuel gas
  • N-Butane
  • Postmortem change
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology


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