<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 20, Issue 1, March 2012

Rom J Leg Med20(1)13-18(2012)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Duration dependent effect of intravenous heroin intake on morphological changes in the liver

G. Ilić, R. Karadžić, L. Kostić-Banović, A. Antović

Abstract: Intravenous heroin intake leads to significant morphological changes in the liver tissue (vesicular changes, fatty changes, chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis). The intensity of these changes increases with the duration of heroin use. Direct hepatotoxic effects of heroin are vesicular changes in hepatocytes, fatty changes are the result of chronic influence of alcohol, whereas the rest of the morphological liver lesions are the result of the interaction of heroin, viral infection and alcohol. In the present study, we analyzed a total of 50 autopsies, 40 from the group of intravenous heroin users and 10 from the control group (dead bodies of young and healthy people with mechanical injuries that did not affect the liver). For ease of analysis, all autopsy cases of intravenous heroin abuse were divided into 4 groups according to the duration of intravenous heroin intake: up to 2 years, between 2 and 5 years, between 5 and 10 years, and longer than 10 years.
Keywords: heroin, liver, intravenous intake, morphological lesion

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