Ketoacidosis And Lactic Acidosis Frequent Causes Of Death In Chronic Alcoholics?
In clinical medicine, severe keto- or lactic adicosis associated with vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, tachycardia or pathological respiration, has been described in chronic alcoholics. This study reports on fatalities of chronic alcoholics where the cause of death could not be determined by thorough autopsy, histology and toxicology including determination of alcohol concentration. In a first series, acetone was determined in the blood of such chronic alcoholics (n = 24), diabetics with metabolic decompensation (n = 7), cases of hypothermia (n = 7) and controls (n = 218). Among the 24 chronic alcoholics where the cause of death was unknown, 9 cases showed very high levels of acetone (74400 mg/l). These comprised 6 cases without additional findings and 3 cases where a second patho-mechanism such as intoxication possibly contributed to the cause of death. In a second series, the sum values according to Traub (lactate/glucose) were determined in cerebrospinal liquor of chronic alcoholics with undetermined cause of death (n = 45), diabetics (n = 6) and controls (n = 39). Among the 45 alcoholics, 17 cases showed very high sum values (294594 mg/dl) including 8 cases where non-lethal i Continue reading >>