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March 1961

Acute Arsenic Intoxication Shown by Roentgenograms

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pathology, Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and the Office of the Coroner of Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Dr. Adelson); from the Department of Medicine, Western Reserve University, Cleveland, The Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, and The Evangelical Deaconess Hospital, Cleveland (Dr. George, Dr. Mandel).

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(3):401-404. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620030089013

Acute arsenic intoxication presents a dramatic picture. When this condition appears in a patient with a past history of chronic duodenal ulcer and alcoholism, differential diagnosis may be very difficult. A case of fatal arsenic ingestion is presented wherein abdominal x-rays suggested the correct diagnosis ante mortem.

Report of a Case  This 50-year-old white man, a known alcoholic with a past history of peptic ulcer, was brought to the emergency room of the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital on Nov. 16, 1958, because of severe burning and gnawing epigastric pain of several hours' duration, and several bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. That morning half an hour after a cup of coffee and a doughnut he started complaining of sharp epigastric pains. He fell to the kitchen floor and vomited greenish material several times. For about two and a half hours he thrashed about with severe abdominal pains and had about 20 watery

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