Send to

Choose Destination
Z Rechtsmed. 1984;93(1):33-41.

[Postmortem evaluation of barbiturate poisonings].

[Article in German]


The evaluation of barbiturate intoxication as the cause of death is often difficult when the concentration in body fluids and organs is not extremely high. The problem arises because of the great capacity of barbiturates to produce tolerance after chronic use, a property that is often unknown. Therefore, the most abused barbiturates were studied to assess whether chronic intake causes morphological liver changes or not. It was found that the chronic abuse of drugs containing seco-, cyclo-, brallo-, and/or pentobarbital produces hypertrophy of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum of hepatocytes corresponding to that of phenobarbital. Neither acute barbiturate overdose (without a history of abuse) nor chronic abuse of opiates causes similar liver changes. In conclusion, barbiturate tolerance can be evaluated postmortem by light microscopic examination of the liver.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center