Acute arsenic self-poisoning for suicidal purpose in a dentist: a case report.

YILMAZ Y., Armagan E., Olmez O. F., Esen M., Alkis N., Dolar E.

Human & experimental toxicology, vol.28, no.1, pp.63-5, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0960327108097432
  • Journal Name: Human & experimental toxicology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.63-5
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Arsenic is a classical poison that has been historically used since ancient times for homicidal purposes. More recently, episodes of deliberate or unintentional arsenic self-poisoning have been increasingly reported. We describe here a case of a 77-year old male patient with a history of major depression, who attempted suicide by ingestion of 4 g of arsenic trioxide. The man, a dentist by profession, used arsenic preparations for pulp devitalization. The patient was admitted to our hospital 5 h after arsenic ingestion with nausea and vomiting. Plain radiograph of the abdomen showed radio-opaque material in the stomach and small intestine. Nasogastric lavage, activated charcoal, and chelators; were used to remove arsenic. On day 3, endoscopy disclosed the presence of gastritis and superficial ulcers. The patient developed significant anemia (Hb: 8.7 g/dL on day 7) without significant signs of hemolysis. He gradually recovered from anemia within 5 months. The patient did not suffer any adverse outcome in spite of having ingesting 4 g of arsenic, approximately 20 times the lethal dose.