A 38-year-old non-commissioned officer was certified unfit for military duty several months before his death. The forensic autopsy revealed a severe bone marrow aplasia and a pulmonary angioinvasive aspergillosis. Moreover, the presence of inorganic foreign particles in the pulmonary macrophages and intestinal endothelia was observed. The microanalysis implemented on these last selected specimens revealed the presence of silica particles microimpregnated by lanthanides and steel. The patient's acquired immunodeficiency appears comparable with that of Iraqi civilians suffering from Gulf War illness. This is the first report in the literature of the presence of intestinal endothelia engulfed by foreign war particulates; the silica particles may have entered the intestinal endothelia via the blood stream or by ingestion of impregnated fruit and vegetable foodstuffs. This finding provides new perspectives in the assessment of war-associated diseases and includes electron probe microanalysis among the new techniques of military and forensic medicine.
- Received August 5, 2014.
- Accepted October 20, 2014.
- Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.