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Plasma oxalic acid and calcium levels in oxalate poisoning
  1. P. M. Zarembski,
  2. A. Hodgkinson
  1. Medical Research Council, Mineral Metabolism Unit, The General Infirmary, Leeds, Yorks.


    Observations are reported on five cases of suicide or attempted suicide by poisoning with oxalic acid or ethylene glycol. Elevated oxalic acid levels were observed in the plasma, stomach contents, and a number of tissues. Raised oxalic acid levels in plasma were associated with reduced total and ultrafilterable calcium levels. It is suggested that the reduction in plasma total calcium level is due mainly to the deposition of calcium oxalate in the soft tissues, but inhibition of the parathyroid glands may be a contributory factor. Microscopic examination of various tissues indicated that oxalic acid is deposited in the tissues in two forms: (1) crystalline calcium oxalate dihydrate in the kidney and (2) a non-crystalline complex of calcium oxalate and lipid in liver and other tissues.

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