Volume 35, Issue 3 (May 1990)
Vascular Lesions in Intestinal Ischemia Induced by Cocaine-Alcohol Abuse: Report of a Fatal Case Due to Overdose
Intestinal ischemia induced by cocaine abuse is a rare condition. To this date, only three cases have been described. The diagnosis of bowel ischemia should be suspected whenever a cocaine addict has severe abdominal pain. A pathological examination of the resected bowel segment was performed in one case, and the diagnosis was confirmed microscopically. However, the existence of pathologic alterations of the intestinal vessels was not confirmed. Why the intestinal injury is segmental and whether it is related to the dose ingested, the administration route, or the combination of cocaine with alcohol, caffeine, or marijuana remain unclear. The authors report one fatal case associated with cocaine-alcohol overdose. The postmortem examination demonstrated the existence of segmental intestinal ischemia. Microscopic study failed to demonstrate thrombosis in the mesenteric vessels; however, we found an unusual lesion affecting the arterioles located in the intestinal submucosa of the hemorrhagic areas.