Home|Journals|Articles by Year|Audio Abstracts

Original Research

The etiology and autopsy findings in Colchicine intoxication-related deaths

Servet Birgin Iritas, Ahmet Hakan Dinc, Baris Akduman, Bora Ozdemir, Ceylan Bal, Hacer Y. Teke, Mehtap Ozdemir, Bulent Degirmenci.


Colchicine is a drug which has a very narrow therapeutic range. This drug has been commonly used for Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF), Behçet’s disease, gout arthritis and acute pseudo gout attacks. In this study, the investigation reports and autopsy reports written by the Council of Forensic Medicine of Ankara between the years 2010-2014 were retrospectively analyzed to find out presence in the cases related to colchicine. Six cases were identified as colchicine intoxication, while three of them used colchicine for medical purpose. In four cases, colchicine was found to have been used for suicidal purpose. Among these four cases, two used colchicine for treatment. In all of our cases, colchicine was detected in bile specimen. Alveolar pulmonary edema and petechial hemorrhage were observed in the lung in all cases. Colchicine was detected in blood in four of the cases. In two cases, the concentration was found to be in therapeutic ranges (0,012 mg/L and 0,018 mg/L), while the other two, in lethal levels (0.099 mg/L and 0,264 mg/L). The most frequent histopathological finding is alveolar pulmonary edema in colchicine intoxication autopsies. Colchicine is widely used alkaloid drugs with narrow therapeutic ranges. More than 0.8 mg / kg in the acute high dose has usually fatal effects. The deaths resulted from colchicine intoxication are mainly suicide-oriented. Similar to other suicides with medicines, they are common among women. In our cases, colchicine was used for intention of suicide in four incidents (66, 66%).

Key words: Autopsy, death, suicide, drug, colchicine, intoxication, forensic medicine, accident

Full-text options

Share this Article

Online Article Submission
• ejmanager.com

ejPort - eJManager.com
Review(er)s Central
About BiblioMed
License Information
Terms & Conditions
Privacy Policy
Contact Us

The articles in Bibliomed are open access articles licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.