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J Forensic Leg Med. 2012 Jul;19(5):291-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2012.02.005. Epub 2012 Apr 8.

Electrocardiographic findings and cardiac manifestations in acute aluminum phosphide poisoning.

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Department of Forensic Toxicology, Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization of Iran, Tehran, Iran.


Aluminium phosphide (AlP) poisoning has a high mortality due to cardiovascular involvement. In this study, we evaluated the frequency of cardiac manifestations and electrocardiographic (ECG) findings in 20 patients with acute AlP poisoning, who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in Tehran, Iran, over a period of 6 months (between October 2008 and April 2009). The sex, age, cause and manner of ingestion, number of ingested AlP tablets, cardiac and ECG manifestations, creatine phosphokinase (CPK), CPK-myocardial band (CPK-mb) and troponin-T (TnT) were extracted from the patients' files. All data were analysed with Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The majority (60%) of patients were male. The mean age was 27 ± 8.7 years. The mortality rate was 40%. In all of the patients, the cause of poisoning was intentional suicide and ingestion was the route of exposure. The mean number of ingested AlP tablets per patient was 2.2 ± 1.1. The average time interval between admission and cardiovascular manifestations or ECG findings was 168.8 ± 116.2 min. The range of systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure was 60-130 mmHg and 40-70 mmHg, respectively. Dysrhythmia was observed in nine (45%) cases. Elevation of the ST segment was seen in nine cases (45%). Seven patients (35%) had prolonged QTc intervals. Bundle branch block (BBB) was observed in four (20%) patients. In nine (45%) patients, the serum cardiac TnT qualitative assay was positive. There were no significant differences between normal and abnormal ECG groups according to sex, age, number and manner of ingested AlP tablets and SBP. There was a significant correlation between cardiac manifestations and ECG findings and TnT-positive results with mortality in acute AlP poisoning.

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