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J Forensic Leg Med. 2011 Feb;18(2):91-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2010.11.011. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Fatal hypernatremia due to drinking a large quantity of shoyu (Japanese soy sauce).

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Department of Legal Medicine, Shiga University of Medical Science, Setatsukinowa, Otsu City, Shiga 520-2192, Japan.


We report a case of fatal salt poisoning in a 55-year-old woman who suffered from depression and drank a large quantity of shoyu (Japanese soy sauce). She presented with the highest ever documented serum sodium level of 187 mmol/L. This was associated with symptoms of cerebral damage which developed within hours after drinking the soy sauce. She died as a result of massive pulmonary edema, despite intensive medical treatment. Viewing the results of clinical and postmortem investigations together, her death could clearly be attributed to drinking a large quantity of soy sauce.

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