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Title: Methamphetamine-related post-mortem cases in Bangkok, Thailand
Authors: Piyatida Prakobsrikul
Smith Srisont
Artit Jinawath
Manee Boonkrem
Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
Keywords: Medicine
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2019
Citation: Medicine, Science and the Law. Vol.59, No.3 (2019), 164-170
Abstract: © The Author(s) 2019. Introduction: This study investigated variables associated with methamphetamine-related deaths in Thailand. Methods: This study used data obtained from methamphetamine-related autopsy cases over a six-year period from 2011 to 2016. From the data available during this period, considered variables included: demographic, toxicological and histopathological profiles. Methamphetamine blood concentration calculations and myoglobin immunostainings in kidney samples were also carried out. Statistical analysis and tests of significance were conducted using a paired-sample t-test, adopting a p-value of 0.05. Results: A total of 61 methamphetamine-related cases were reviewed. Of several pathological findings, cardiovascular pathological findings were the most common. Cases were divided into a non-trauma group (n = 19; 31.15%) and a trauma group (n = 42; 68.85%), and it was found that methamphetamine blood concentrations of non-trauma cases were largely in therapeutic ranges. The differences between methamphetamine concentrations of trauma and non-trauma groups were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Immunostainings for myoglobin in kidney samples were positive in two non-trauma cases, which is suggestive of methamphetamine-induced rhabdomyolysis. Conclusions: Methamphetamine intoxication causes cardiac toxicity and can cause death. However, methamphetamine quantitation, autopsy findings and scene investigations are considered altogether in determination of cause of death due to many factors such as drug tolerances. Myoglobin immunostaining was found to be a useful tool in determining cause of death.
ISSN: 00258024
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2019

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