Distribution of opiates in femoral blood and vitreous humour in heroin/morphine-related deaths

K.A. Rees, Derrick J. Pounder, M.D. Osselton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The distribution of free morphine (FM), codeine and 6-acetylmorphine (6AM) in vitreous humour (VH) and femoral blood (FB) was measured in 70 cases involving heroin/morphine. The relationship between tissue drug concentrations was assessed with respect to case circumstances. Total morphine (TM) concentrations in FB are also reported. The relative concentrations of FM in VH and FB were influenced by survival time. In rapid deaths (3h; n=12) the VH concentration (median 0.15mg/L) was higher than in FB (0.092mg/L; p>.05). Free morphine VH/FB ratios were significantly higher in delayed (median 1.3) compared to rapid deaths (0.64). Although these findings indicate a lag in the distribution of morphine into the VH, overlaps were observed in the VH/FB ratio in rapid and delayed death groups which limits the interpretive use of VH/FB ratios. Codeine and 6AM appeared to distribute more rapidly into the VH. Despite the observation that all opiate analytes were correlated between FB and VH (r=61; p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)152-159
    Number of pages8
    JournalForensic Science International
    Volume226
    Issue number1-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2013

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