Fatal barium embolization due to incorrect vaginal rather than colonic insertion. An ultrastructural and X-ray microanalysis study

R. David, I. K. Berezesky, M. Bohlman, R. E. Pendergrass, S. H. Chang, J. N. Diaconis, B. F. Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Fatal generalized barium sulfate (BaSO4) embolization followed erroneous vaginal insertion of the enema tip intended for colon examination. Light microscopy revealed the presence of swollen, granular reticuloendothelial cells in most visceral organs such as lung, liver, spleen, bone marrow, kidney, and brain. Transmission electron microscopy showed the reticuloendothelial cells loaded with uniformly electron-dense granules of various sizes. Scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy-dispersive x-ray analyzer confirmed the BaSO4 composition of these granules when unstained paraffin sections of different organs mounted on glass slides without coverslips were examined. The use of the technique of x-ray microanalysis is recommended when absolute identification of inorganic material in human organs is needed. The technique can be used directly on routine paraffin-embedded material mounted on glass slides as well as with material expressly prepared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-551
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume107
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 26 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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