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Przegl Lek. 2010;67(8):630-2.

[Fatal colchicine poisoning--case report and review of literature].

[Article in Polish]

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Instytut Medycyny Pracy i Zdrowia, Srodowiskowego w Sosnowcu, Oddział Toksykologii Klinicznej z Regionalnym, Ośrodkiem Ostrych Zatruć.


Colchicine is a natural pseudo-alkaloid found in plants such as the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) and glory lily (Gloriosa superba), which is used to treat gout and some other rheumatological disease. Colchicine binds to tubuline and prevents its polymerization into microtubules. It is thus able to impair those cellular functions that involve microtubules, eg. it arrests mitosis in metaphase. Tissues with high mitotic activity are preferentially affected. We report suicidal colchicine poisoning leading to death after 61 hours. Clinical course was typical for colchicine action. We observed severe diarrhea, cardiovascular shock, ARDS, multiorgan system failure and DIC. Postmortem toxicological studies confirm colchicine poisoning.

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