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Death within 44 days of 2,4-dinitrophenol intake


We report the case of a 50-year-old obese man (115 kg body mass at 1.77 m height), who started taking 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) for weight reduction 44 days before his death. After 43 days of taking DNP, the man showed signs of intoxication with nausea, vomiting, and attacks of sweating. After admission to a hospital where the man concealed his DNP intake, sinus tachycardia, tachypnea, and general unrest were noted. The patient died 9 h after the onset of those symptoms. Upon autopsy, a yellowing of palms and soles was striking. The initially uncertain cause of death could only be clarified by the forensic toxicological examinations and subsequent police investigations. Finally, the man had a total intake of 12.3 g of DNP in 44 days which is relatively high compared to other lethal DNP intoxications.

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Correspondence to Andreas Büttner.

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Zack, F., Blaas, V., Goos, C. et al. Death within 44 days of 2,4-dinitrophenol intake. Int J Legal Med 130, 1237–1241 (2016).

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  • Diet
  • 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP)
  • Intoxication
  • Tachycardia
  • Tachypnea
  • Cause of death