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The importance of sample size with regard to the robustness of postmortem reference values
Karolinska Inst, Sweden; Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Med, Artillerigatan 12, S-58758 Linkoping, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Molecular Medicine and Virology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Genet and Forens Toxicol, Artillerigatan 12, S-58758 Linkoping, Sweden.
Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Genet and Forens Toxicol, Artillerigatan 12, S-58758 Linkoping, Sweden.
Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Med, Artillerigatan 12, S-58758 Linkoping, Sweden.
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2020 (English)In: Forensic Science International, ISSN 0379-0738, E-ISSN 1872-6283, Vol. 311, article id 110292Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Evaluating postmortem toxicological results is a challenging task due to multiple factors affecting blood concentrations after death. In order to improve the diagnostic accuracy in cases of suspected fatal intoxication different compilations of postmortem reference drug concentrations are often used. However, it is not clear what constitutes a reliable postmortem reference value. The current study presents reference concentrations for 13 substances from seven substance groups according to a standardized protocol. The reference concentrations were gathered from 3767 autopsy cases and subdivided into intoxications by one substance only (Group A, n= 611), multi-substance intoxications (Group B, n = 1355) and postmortem controls, in which incapacitation by drugs were excluded (Group C, n = 1801). In particular, this study presents statistical information about the precision and conformity change with various sample sizes. Based on the present data >10 detections are usually needed, for the substances examined, to differentiate between intoxication cases and controls. Repeated samplings show that the median of small samples (N= <= 5) has a high variation (normalized interquartile range 138-75%) and that a high number of detections (N = >20) in each group are needed to reduce the variation. (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD , 2020. Vol. 311, article id 110292
Keywords [en]
Postmortem toxicology; Reference concentrations; Sample size; Power
National Category
Forensic Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-167302DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2020.110292ISI: 000538769400014PubMedID: 32330811OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-167302DiVA, id: diva2:1451406
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine

Available from: 2020-07-02 Created: 2020-07-02 Last updated: 2020-08-20

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