Rapidly fatal poisoning with an insecticide containing rotenone.


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Rapidly fatal poisoning with an insecticide containing rotenone.
Title of the conference
XXXIV International Congress of the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists
Faber K., Augsburger M., Sporkert F., Laffer R., Ceschi A.
Brussels, Belgium, 27-30 may, 2014
Publication state
Issued date
Clinical Toxicology
Introduction: Rotenone is a botanical pesticide derived from extracts of Derris roots, which is traditionally used as piscicide, but also as an industrial insecticide for home gardens. Its mechanism of action is potent inhibition of mitochondrial respiratory chain by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation by blocking electron transport at complex-I. Despite its classification as mild to moderately toxic to humans (estimated LD50, 300-500 mg/kg), there is a striking variety of acute toxicity of rotenone depending on the formulation (solvents). Human fatalities with rotenone-containing insecticides have been rarely
reported, and a rapid deterioration within a few hours of the ingestion has been described previously in one case.
Case report: A 49-year-old Tamil man with a history of asthma, ingested 250 mL of an insecticide containing 1.24% of rotenone (3.125 g, 52.1-62.5 mg/kg) in a suicide attempt at home. The product was not labeled as toxic. One hour later, he vomited repeatedly and emergency services were alerted. He was found unconscious with irregular respiration and was intubated. On arrival at the emergency department, he was comatose (GCS 3) with fixed and dilated pupils, and absent corneal reflexes. Physical examination revealed hemodynamic instability with hypotension (55/30 mmHg) and bradycardia (52 bpm).
Significant laboratory findings were lactic acidosis (pH 6.97, lactate 17 mmol/L) and hypokalemia (2 mmol/L). Cranial computed tomography (CT) showed early cerebral edema. A single dose of activated charcoal was given. Intravenous hydration, ephedrine, repeated boli of dobutamine, and a perfusor with 90 micrograms/h norepinephine stabilized blood pressure temporarily. Atropine had a minimal effect on heart rate (58 bpm). Intravenous lipid emulsion was considered (log Pow 4.1), but there was a rapid deterioration with refractory hypotension and acute circulatory failure. The patient died 5h after ingestion of the insecticide. No autopsy was performed. Quantitative analysis of serum performed by high-resolution/accurate mass-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography (LC-HR/AM-MS): 560 ng/mL rotenone. Other substances were excluded by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
Conclusion: The clinical course was characterized by early severe symptoms and a rapidly fatal evolution, compatible with inhibition of mitochondrial energy supply. Although rotenone is classified as mild to moderately toxic, physicians must be aware that suicidal ingestion of emulsified concentrates may be rapidly fatal. (n=3): stridor, cyanosis, cough (one each). Local swelling after chewing or swallowing soap developed at the earliest after 20 minutes and persisted beyond 24 hours in some cases. Treatment with antihistamines and/or steroids relieved the symptoms in 9 cases.
Conclusion: Bar soap ingestion by seniors carries a risk of severe local reactions. Half the patients developed symptoms, predominantly swellings of tongue and/or lips (38%). Cognitive impairment, particularly in the cases of dementia (37%), may increase the risk of unintentional ingestion. Chewing and intraoral retention of soap leads to prolonged contact with the mucosal membranes. Age-associated physiological changes of oral mucosa probably promote the irritant
effects of the surfactants. Medical treatment with antihistamines and corticosteroids usually leads to rapid decline of symptoms. Without treatment, there may be a risk of airway obstruction.
Forensic Medicine, Toxicology
Web of science
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09/07/2014 14:04
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20/08/2019 12:55
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