<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 28, Issue 4, December 2020



Rom J Leg Med28(4)398-402(2020)
DOI:10.4323/rjlm.2020.398
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine


TOXICOLOGICAL STUDY OF AN EXHUMED BODY USING ALTERNATIVE MATRICES FOR THE DETECTION OF PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS

C. P. Martínez, L. F. López, G. P. Bonete, A. Luna


Abstract: In forensic toxicology, systematic toxicological analyses (STA) and interpretation of results are difficult when routine matrices such as blood (typically from a central and peripheral source), urine, bile, vitreous humor, stomach or gastric contents are not available. Furthermore, in instances of limited remains, only muscle, hair, or a skeleton may be available for toxicological examination to unambiguously identify as many toxicologically relevant compounds as possible to assist in determining the cause of death. This article describes a case of the exhumed corpse of a 53-year-old male known to have been addicted to several types of drugs. The STA was carried out on alternative biological matrices, including brain, kidney and bone marrow, using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography– mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) and subsequently the identified substances were quantified by GC-MS and ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). The mixture found included multiple agents such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines (BZD) and anaesthetic agent. We demonstrate the possibility of detection of several drugs in an exhumed body 2 years after interment. Despite the problematic of interpreting the quantitative toxicological results, the data could provide complementary information about aetiology of death.
Keywords: forensic toxicology, systematic toxicological analyses, exhumed corpse, alternative biological matrices, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, drugs.



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