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Unexpected Death in Elephantiasis Due to an Abnormal Life-Style

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A 22-year-old man was found dead after he had continued to sit on a reclining chair for 2 years. He had consumed an unbalanced diet, kept wearing the same pair of socks and never washed himself for the term. His skin of bilateral crura developed into elephantiasis with severely festered ulcers on its surface. At autopsy, subcutaneous edema was significant in his lower limbs, and chronic circulatory disturbance of lymphoducts and veins was observed histologically. There were no crucial findings to account for chronic edema in the lower limbs. It has been reported that maintaining a seated posture obstructs both lymphoducts and veins because of bending the groin, decreases their return flow by inducing muscular atrophy, and causes subcutaneous edema in the lower limbs. Oligotrophia and dirt on his limbs might have exacerbated the chronic edema in elephantiasis. We concluded that a long-term abnormal life-style had caused fatal elephantiasis.
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Keywords: chronic lymph edema; chronic venous insufficiency; elephantiasis; forensic pathology; forensic science; sepsis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health-Japan, Iseigaoka1-1, Yahata-Nishi, Kitakyushu, 807-8555, Japan.

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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