Acute arsenic intoxication presents a dramatic picture. When this condition appears in a patient with a past history of chronic duodenal ulcer and alcoholism, differential diagnosis may be very difficult. A case of fatal arsenic ingestion is presented wherein abdominal x-rays suggested the correct diagnosis ante mortem.
Report of a Case
This 50-year-old white man, a known alcoholic with a past history of peptic ulcer, was brought to the emergency room of the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital on Nov. 16, 1958, because of severe burning and gnawing epigastric pain of several hours' duration, and several bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. That morning half an hour after a cup of coffee and a doughnut he started complaining of sharp epigastric pains. He fell to the kitchen floor and vomited greenish material several times. For about two and a half hours he thrashed about with severe abdominal pains and had about 20 watery