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Sudden Death in a Patient with Undiagnosed Diabetes, Acute Pancreatitis and Acute Adrenalitis

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DOI: 10.4236/fmar.2019.74010    122 Downloads   296 Views


It has been well documented that acute pancreatitis and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) co-occur, and both of them present either as a cause or result of the other [1] [2]. Recently, hypertriglyceridemia has been reported to co-occur as well [3] [4]; the involvement of acute adrenalitis in the setting of acute pancreatitis and DKA has not been reported. We report a case of sudden death due to diabetic ketoacidosis, acute pancreatitis and acute adrenalitis in a 37-year-old female. She was found unresponsive and breathless in bed by her mother at their residence. At the time of the autopsy, both lungs were expanded and sigmoid diverticulosis was discovered on gross examination. Histology of the pancreas and the adrenal glands revealed acute inflammation despite appearing normal upon gross examination. The postmortem toxicology report showed high levels of acetone (12 mg/dL) in the postmortem blood and extremely high levels of glucose (>500 mg/dL) in the postmortem vitreous fluid. This is the first reported case of fatal diabetic ketoacidosis co-occurring with acute pancreatitis and acute adrenalitis.

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Jin, C. and Jin, L. (2019) Sudden Death in a Patient with Undiagnosed Diabetes, Acute Pancreatitis and Acute Adrenalitis. Forensic Medicine and Anatomy Research, 7, 63-67. doi: 10.4236/fmar.2019.74010.

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