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Forensic Sci Int 1982 Sep;20(2):141-151

Liver pathology in fatal drug addiction.

Kringsholm B, Christoffersen P

Liver sections from 273 drug addicts submitted to medicolegal autopsy at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Copenhagen in the period 1975-1979 were studied. In 65% of the cases non-specific portal inflammation only was found. Birefringent material–identified as the mineral talc (magnesium silicate) was observed in 38% of the cases; in these cases non-specific portal inflammation was always present. Changes compatible with acute or chronic persistent hepatitis or hepatitis sequelae were observed in 8% of the cases; cirrhosis in 3%. HBs-antigens were detected in 4%. In 22% fatty infiltration was present; in 4% as the only abnormal finding. Finally no pathological changes were found in 6%. The results were related to anamnestic information of kind and duration of drug abuse and to the cause of death. Furthermore a comparison was performed between the groups with and without birefringent material. The data suggest that the birefringent material may be of importance to the pathogenesis of the non-specific portal inflammation.

PMID: 7118025, UI: 83005274