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Self-inflicted neck wounds under influence of lysergic acid diethylamide: A case report and literature review

Abstract : Rationale Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a highly potent psychedelic drug derived from ergot alkaloids. The available literature data derived from controlled studies or usage in a medical setting seem reassuring; however the literature contains very rare cases of fatal self-inflicted injuries associated with LSD exposure. The behavioral disorder that created the conditions conducive to death is a maladaptive or irrational response to the psychiatric manifestations induced by the substance. Patient concern Here, we report the case of a 26-year-old man found dead with large neck wounds in a locked house. No medical history other than recreational use of alcohol and narcotics was reported as well as any history of psychotic disease. The entirety of the other investigations carried out did not demonstrate the presence of a third party at the place of death and a dropper bottle containing LSD was found near the body. Diagnosis We report the first case of fatal self-inflicted neck wounds with a cutting instrument in the context of acute exposure to LSD in a patient with no psychiatric history and without suicidal symptoms at the time of the self-aggressive act. Intervention and outcomes In the present work, we used a validated method using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry for simultaneous quantification of LSD and its metabolites (O-H-LSD and Nor-LSD) in whole blood and urine samples. LSD and O-H-LSD were respectively found at 1460 and 182 pg/mL in blood. In the urine, the concentrations of LSD, nor-LSD, O-H-LSD were, respectively, 3670, 201, and 4890 ng/L. Lessons This observation is particularly relevant in view of the resurgence of interest in the therapeutic use of LSD, notwithstanding the fact that the literature has not demonstrated a link between suicidal risk and acute or chronic exposure to LSD.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 3, 2020 - 10:22:27 AM
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Brendan Le Dare, Thomas Gicquel, Alain Baert, Isabelle Morel, Renaud Bouvet. Self-inflicted neck wounds under influence of lysergic acid diethylamide: A case report and literature review. Medicine, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2020, 99 (27), ⟨10.1097/MD.0000000000020868⟩. ⟨hal-02929040⟩



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