Paraquat myopathy: Report on two suicide cases

N. Tabata, M. Morita, S. Mimasaka, M. Funayama, T. Hagiwara, M. Abe

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16 Citations (Scopus)


We describe two suicide cases in which old paraquat was ingested. In conjunction with lung involvement a pronounced degeneration was observed in skeletal muscle of one who died on the 14th day after the ingestion. The following sarcoplasmic or endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA) monoclonal antibodies were used for skeletal muscle fiber typing by an immunohistochemical method: NCL-SERCA1, reactive with type 2 fiber (fast-twitch), and NCL-SERCA2, reactive with type 1 fiber (slow-twitch). The examination revealed that the remarkably degenerated fibers belonged to type 1 muscle fibers. This case showed an abrupt increase of plasma CK levels (1796 mU/ml) on the fifth day after the ingestion. The authors presume that the damage to the skeletal muscle had occurred in this period. The degeneration of the muscle seemed to be attributable to the long retention of paraquat in the tissue because these findings were not observed in the other case who died on the fifth day. Paraquat-induced myopathy may develop in prolonged paraquat poisoning. The examination of CK levels in plasma will be useful for diagnosis of damage of skeletal muscle. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Mar 15


  • CK levels in plasma
  • Paraquat myopathy
  • Paraquat poisoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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