Concentration distributions of the drugs most frequently identified in post-mortem femoral blood representing all causes of death
2009 (English)In: Medicine, Science and the Law, ISSN 0025-8024, Vol. 49, no 4, 257-273 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Interpreting the concentrations of drugs determined in post-mortem blood is not an easy task owing to poly-drug use, adverse drug-drug interactions, as well as a host of pre-analytical factors and various artefacts in post-mortem toxicology. Highly sensitive and specific methods (GC-FID, GC-NPD. GC-MS and LC-MS) were used to determine the concentrations of drugs in femoral blood from 24,876 autopsies representing all causes of death. Ethanol topped the list of psychoactive substances (N=8,108 or 33%) at mean, median and highest concentrations of 1.43 g/L, 1.20 g/L and 8.0 g/L, respectively. In second place was paracetamol (N=2,741 or 11%). Amphetamine and cannabis were the major illicit drugs at 13th and 15th positions, respectively. Newer antidepressants, citalopram (no 3), sertraline (no 14), venlafaxine (no 16) were prominent as were sedative-hypnotics, such as diazepam (no 4), zopiclone (no 5) and zolpidem (no 18). This compilation of drugs and their concentration distributions will be useful to identify and flag for a likely overdose or drug-related poisoning death. The drug concentration together with the findings at autopsy and the police report can then be used to reach a conclusion about the cause and manner of death.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 49, no 4, 257-273 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-52872ISI: 000273042400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-52872DiVA: diva2:285782