liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Concentration ratios of free-morphine to free-codeine in femoral blood in heroin-related poisoning deaths
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Drug Research.
National Board for Forensic Medicine.
2011 (English)In: Legal Medicine, ISSN 1344-6223, E-ISSN 1873-4162, Vol. 13, no 4, 171-173 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concentrations of free-morphine (Mo), free-codeine (Co) and 6-monoacetyl morphine (6-MAM) were determined in femoral blood in N = 747 heroin-related deaths. The opiates were determined by isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry after solid-phase extraction. The median blood concentrations of 6-MAM, free-morphine and free-codeine were 0.01 mg/L, 0.24 mg/L and 0.02 mg/L, respectively. The mean and median Mo/Co concentration ratios were 13.2 and 11.0, respectively with a range from 0.2 to 124. Despite the fact that all victims had taken heroin, there were eight cases (1.1%) with a Mo/Co ratio less than one and 18 cases (2.4%) with a ratio less than two. The free-morphine concentration in blood did not depend on the Mo/Co ratio; median 0.29 mg/L (Mo/Co less than 2.0) and median 0.25 mg/L (Mo/Co ratio greater than 2.0). By contrast, the concentration of free-codeine in blood was highly dependent on the Mo/Co ratio; median 0.75 mg/L (Mo/Co less than 1.0) and median 0.30 mg/L (Mo/Co ratio less than 2.0). A Mo/Co ratio in post-mortem (PM) femoral blood greater than1.0 is compelling evidence that the deceased had taken illicit heroin. However, finding a low Mo/Co ratio (less than1.0 or less than2.0) does not preclude use of heroin because such low ratios are possible if a person had co-ingested heroin along with use or abuse of codeine medication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. , 2011. Vol. 13, no 4, 171-173 p.
Keyword [en]
Autopsy; Codeine; Heroin deaths; Morphine; Morphine/codeine ratio; Opiates
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69841DOI: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2011.02.002ISI: 000291776000002OAI: diva2:433458
Available from: 2011-08-10 Created: 2011-08-08 Last updated: 2014-06-11

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Jones, A Wayne
By organisation
Faculty of Health SciencesDivision of Drug Research
In the same journal
Legal Medicine
Medical and Health Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 13 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link