Volume 39, Issue 3 (May 1994)
Can Microorganisms Produce Alcohol in Body Cavities of a Living Person?: A Case Report
Unusual endogenous ethanol production in intraabdominal bloody fluid of an individual who was stabbed in the abdomen and who developed peritonitis after a peritoneotomy is discussed. In the intraabdominal bloody fluid, 2.45 mg/g ethanol and 0.079 mg/g n-propanol were detected. The level of ethanol in the heart blood was about 1 mg/g. The level of n-propanol indicates that a large quantity of ethanol was produced endogenously in the intraabdominal bloody fluid. In an animal experiment in which rats were injected with 20 mL of 10% glucose mixed 5:1 with a presumed volume of rat blood into the abdominal cavity after injury of the small intestine to allow enterobacteria to spread into the cavity, a significant quantity of ethanol was produced in the administered fluid while the animals were alive. The antemortem ethanol production in the intraabdominal bloody fluid of the victim might have been caused by the microorganisms responsible for the peritonitis after the operation.