(Received 1 March 1973; accepted 28 March 1973)
Published Online: October
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The forensic pathologist is confronted almost daily with instances of sudden and unexpected death in patients with an alcoholic history, who exhibit only disease of the liver at autopsy, often consisting solely of fatty metamorphosis, and whose blood contains little or no ethyl alcohol. The cause of death is usually certified as acute or chronic alcoholism or both, and on occasions includes the type of liver disease, but the exact mechanism(s) remain unknown. Some of those incriminated include hypoglycemia, subtle infection, seizures related to delirium tremens and various metabolic alterations from the diseased liver, including the “Hepatorenal Syndrome” [1–5].
Office of the Medical Examiner, Hennepin County, Minnesota and chief, Hennepin County General Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas and the Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, Texas
Stock #: JFS10037J