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Abdominal Imaging

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 333–338 | Cite as

Drug smuggling by ingested cocaine-filled packages: conventional x-ray and ultrasound

  • J. Hierholzer
  • M. Cordes
  • H. Tantow
  • U. Keske
  • J. Mäurer
  • R. Felix
Article

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the imaging characteristics and the diagnostic value of both abdominal ultrasound and conventional abdominal x-ray in identifying ingested drug packages in “body packers.”

Materials and Methods

Twelve individuals were studied prospectively by abdominal ultrasound and by abdominal x-ray to rule out incorporated drug containers.

Results

Both abdominal ultrasound and abdominal x-ray correctly identified the 7 of 12 individuals who had ingested multiple drug packages. In 5 of the 12 individuals, ultrasound as well as abdominal x-ray were correctly unremarkable with regard to abdominal foreign bodies.

Conclusions

Abdominal ultrasound and abdominal x-ray both represent valuable diagnostic tools in the assessment of ingested drug packages. Abdominal x-ray is superior to ultrasound in differentiating ingested drug-filled condoms from “pseudocondoms.”

Key words

Cocaine Body packers Drug smuggling Abdominal ultrasound Abdominal x-ray 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Hierholzer
    • 1
  • M. Cordes
    • 1
  • H. Tantow
    • 2
  • U. Keske
    • 1
  • J. Mäurer
    • 1
  • R. Felix
    • 1
  1. 1.Strahlenklinik und Poliklinik, Virchow-Klinikum, Medizinische Fakultätder Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Meyersrenken und ReingantzBerlinGermany

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