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    A 30-year-old woman presented to the emergency department 2 days after ingestion of 50 castor beans. Her symptoms on admission were vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, agitation and anxiety. Initial laboratory tests showed a slightly elevated C-reactive protein and mild liver and kidney dysfunction. The patient was transferred to the medium care unit of our hospital where she was observed for possible organ failure. During the next days, the kidney function improved and liver function started to recover. Four days after admission, the patient was transferred to the psychiatric ward. Urine, serum, plasma and whole-blood samples were analyzed for ricinine using a quantitative LC-MS-MS method. Initial values on admission (serum and urine) were very high in comparison with previously reported cases. Based on these values, the patient was monitored closely in the following days. The patient made a full recovery, and during the course of hospitalization, concentrations of ricinine in plasma/serum, blood and urine gradually declined. The presence of ricinine in a patient's blood or plasma is a proof of castor bean and, hence, ricin exposure. However, based on this case and previously reported cases in literature, we can conclude that no clear correlation can be established between ricinine blood, plasma or urine levels and the severity of the intoxication. Clinicians should be aware of the potential danger of a ricin intoxication, and patients should be monitored closely for several days due to the unpredictable outcome of the intoxication. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


    Stefanie Lefever, Inge Geerts, Edith Vermeulen, Pieter Vermeersch, Frederic De Rydt, Laurens Dobbels, Marc Gillis, Kathleen Croes. Non-Lethal Intoxication by Ingestion of 50 Castor Beans: Serial Measurement of Ricinine in Blood, Plasma and Urine. Journal of analytical toxicology. 2021 May 14;45(5):e8-e12

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    PMID: 32991682

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