The purpose of this study is to show a very rare complication of acute cocaine poisoning, namely heart rupture. In the present case report, acute cocaine intoxication caused massive myocardial infarction, resulting in heart rupture and cardiac tamponade. A crime scene investigation found a dead body on the street in a drug dealing district. Examination of the body showed no external injuries. A thorough autopsy was performed showing massive cardiac tamponade with 510 ml of blood within the pericardium and full-thickness tissue lesion at the posterior wall of the left ventricle of 3.5 × 3 cm. Histological examination in hematoxylin and eosin was performed and confirmed the interruption of the posterior wall of the left ventricle with the presence of blood. In fact, although the correlation between cocaine and myocardial damage is well established, the relationship between heart rupture and acute cocaine intoxication is an extremely rare event. Moreover, since there are, to date, few reports of similar deaths, our report provides useful information regarding sudden death in a cocaine abuser. It is, therefore, of crucial importance to report this case to the scientific community.

Heart rupture as an acute complication of cocaine abuse: A case report

Esposito, Massimiliano;Liberto, Aldo;Zuccarello, Pietro;Barbera, Nunziata;Sessa, Francesco;Salerno, Monica
2022

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to show a very rare complication of acute cocaine poisoning, namely heart rupture. In the present case report, acute cocaine intoxication caused massive myocardial infarction, resulting in heart rupture and cardiac tamponade. A crime scene investigation found a dead body on the street in a drug dealing district. Examination of the body showed no external injuries. A thorough autopsy was performed showing massive cardiac tamponade with 510 ml of blood within the pericardium and full-thickness tissue lesion at the posterior wall of the left ventricle of 3.5 × 3 cm. Histological examination in hematoxylin and eosin was performed and confirmed the interruption of the posterior wall of the left ventricle with the presence of blood. In fact, although the correlation between cocaine and myocardial damage is well established, the relationship between heart rupture and acute cocaine intoxication is an extremely rare event. Moreover, since there are, to date, few reports of similar deaths, our report provides useful information regarding sudden death in a cocaine abuser. It is, therefore, of crucial importance to report this case to the scientific community.
Cardiac tamponade
Cocaine intoxication
Forensic pathology
Forensic toxicology
Hearth rupture
Sudden death
Autopsy
Cocaine
Cocaine-Related Disorders
Death, Sudden
Forensic Toxicology
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Heart Rupture
Myocardial Infarction
Vasoconstrictor Agents
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/539299
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact