Methylenedioxypyrovalerone ("Bath Salts"),Related Death: Case Report and Review of the Literature,

Kilak Kesha, Cassie L. Boggs, Mary G. Ripple, Carol H. Allan, Barry Levine, Rebecca Jufer-Phipps, Suzanne Doyon, Paolin Chi, David R. Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Cathinone derivatives (bath salts) have emerged as the latest drugs of abuse. 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is the primary active ingredient in bath salts used in this country. This article presents the second reported cause of death by MDPV intoxication alone. In April 2011, a delusional man was emergently brought to a hospital, where he self-reported bath salt usage. He became agitated, developed ventricular tachycardia, hyperthermia, and died. Comprehensive alcohol and drug testing was performed. Using the alkaline drug screen, heart blood contained 0.7 mg/L MDPV and peripheral blood contained 1.0 mg/L MDPV. His bizarre behavior with life-threatening hyperthermia was consistent with an MDPV-induced excited delirium state. MDPV is not yet found by routine immunoassay toxicology screens. Testing for MDPV should be considered in cases with a history of polysubstance abuse with stimulant type drugs, report of acute onset of psychogenic symptoms, excited delirium syndrome, or presentation in a hyperthermic state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1654-1659
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bath salts
  • Designer drugs
  • Forensic science
  • Hyperthermia
  • Methylenedioxypyrovalerone
  • Recreational drugs
  • Synthetic cathinones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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