It is known among forensic and pediatric pathologists that the demonstration of pancreatic inclusions is considered to have diagnostic significance in cases of boric acid poisoning. Fisher was the first to suggest a causal relationship between the inclusions and boric acid toxicity. Valdes-Dapena and Arey paid particular attention to the pancreatic inclusions in reviewing the literature of cases of boric acid poisoning. They found the inclusions in 6 of the 55 autopsies. This paper describes the finding of pancreatic inclusions in a fatal case of gastro-enteritis not associated with boric acid intoxication. The nature of the inclusion bodies was studied by light and electron microscopy. Ultrastructurally, the cytoplasmic inclusions represent a non-specific autophagic cell degenerative process. Toxicological examination of postmortem blood and viscera showed no evidence of boric acid toxicity. The desirability of toxicological analysis in cases of boric acid poisoning and the restricted value of pancreatic inclusions as a diagnostic tool are emphasised.
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