A Purinethol® (6-Mercaptopurine) Fatality in a Case of Prescription Negligence: A Gas Chromatographic Determination of 6-Mercaptopurine

    Volume 27, Issue 2 (April 1982)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 April 1982

    Page Count: 7


    Schaffer, MI
    Assistant chief toxicologist, chief medical examiner, and chief toxicologist, Cook County Institute of Forensic Medicine, Office of the Medical Examiner, Chicago, IL

    Lin, R-L
    Assistant chief toxicologist, chief medical examiner, and chief toxicologist, Cook County Institute of Forensic Medicine, Office of the Medical Examiner, Chicago, IL

    Stein, RJ
    Assistant chief toxicologist, chief medical examiner, and chief toxicologist, Cook County Institute of Forensic Medicine, Office of the Medical Examiner, Chicago, IL

    (Received 13 May 1981; accepted 28 August 1981)

    Abstract

    A 64-year-old white female was given Purinethol® (6-mercaptopurine) in place of propylthiouracil. A gas chromatographic method for the determination of 6-mercaptopurine in blood and other biological tissues has been developed. Samples were extracted with chloroform/isopropanol (4:1) at pH 7.0 and back-extracted into 0.SN sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The NaOH fraction was neutralized and buffered at pH 7.0 and extracted with chloroform/isopropanol (4:1). Quantitation was made by gas chromatography following methylation of the drug with trimethylanilinum hydroxide on an OV-101 or OV-225 column, using an internal standard. 6-Mercaptopurine was identified in all tissues by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The derivatized drug was identified by its electron impact mass spectrum as a dimethylated compound that has a molecular ion at m/e 180, which is also the base peak. The highest concentration of Purinethol was found in blood (110 mg/L). Concentrations in other tissues have been given. This is probably the first reported death by Purinethol.


    Paper ID: JFS11504J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11504J

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    Title A Purinethol® (6-Mercaptopurine) Fatality in a Case of Prescription Negligence: A Gas Chromatographic Determination of 6-Mercaptopurine
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30