2022 Volume 35 Issue 4 Pages 319-324
Colchicine, which is used as a remedy for gout, is found in some plants, including Gloriosa superba. Gloriosa superba is a member of the family Colchicaceae and is sold commercially as an ornamental plant. In this study, we describe a case of colchicine poisoning caused by accidental ingestion of Gloriosa superba. The patient, an 84-year-old man, developed symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. The next day, he was admitted to our hospital owing to suspicion of acute enteritis. On the second day of hospitalization, he experienced disturbed consciousness and lactic acidosis. On the third day of hospitalization, he died, despite intensive care. Additional interviews with the family revealed that he accidentally ate a bulb of Gloriosa superba before the appearance of gastrointestinal symptoms. Subsequent investigation revealed the presence of colchicine in his urine and blood and he was diagnosed with colchicine poisoning caused by ingestion of Gloriosa superba. Colchicine poisoning can cause rapid multi-organ damage depending on the amount ingested, and can be fatal. Symptoms of poisoning are nonspecific, and measurement of colchicine levels is time-consuming. Therefore, a detailed interview is extremely important for diagnosis.