Journal Article

Evaluation of Ricinine, a Ricin Biomarker, from a Non-Lethal Castor Bean Ingestion

Elizabeth I. Hamelin, Rudolph C. Johnson, John D. Osterloh, David J. Howard and Jerry D. Thomas

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 36, issue 9, pages 660-662
Published in print November 2012 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Evaluation of Ricinine, a Ricin Biomarker, from a Non-Lethal Castor Bean Ingestion

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  • Medical Toxicology
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A case is presented of the attempted suicide of a 58-year-old man using castor beans. The patient came to the emergency room complaining of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea for nine hours following the ingestion of six castor beans. Urine samples were taken throughout the hospital stay and submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for analysis of ricinine, a castor bean component. The samples were found to be positive for ricinine, with a maximum concentration of 674 µg/g-creatinine excreted approximately 23 h post-exposure. Subsequent samples demonstrated lower ricinine concentrations, with the final sample taken at 62 h post-exposure at a concentration of 135 µg/g-creatinine of ricinine. The estimated urinary excretion half-life was approximately 15 h and the recovery of ricinine in the urine over the three days was estimated to be less than 10%. The patient fully recovered with supportive care and was discharged from the hospital six days after admission.

Journal Article.  2045 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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