CASE REPORTS
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Severe necrosis of oesophageal and gastric mucosa in fatal methanol poisoning.

Methanol is a potent neurotoxic substance that causes severe metabolic acidosis and serious neurological disorders. Most of the cases are accidental exposures to drinking beverages contaminated with methanol. There are few articles reporting pure methanol intoxication; however, it is well known that small quantities of pure methanol causes blindness and death, the minimum lethal dose being 50-100 ml.A case report is presented of a 67-year-old woman, who committed suicide by ingestion of 500 ml of absolute methanol. Despite symptomatic and supportive intensive care, the woman died 23 h after hospital admission due to metabolic acidosis and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. A complete medico-legal autopsy was performed. Grossly, there was complete detachment of the oesophagus mucosa and brownish discolouration of the gastric mucosa. Histological findings showed diffuse haemorrhagic necrosis of the stomach mucosa and intense acute inflammatory infiltration of the lamina propria. To our knowledge, this is the first autopsy report of such severe digestive injuries. A discussion and review of the recent literature on the subject are given.

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