(Received 9 June 1986; accepted 15 July 1986)
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Recently, the value of therapeutic drug monitoring for digoxin has been called into question by the finding of endogenous digoxin-like immunoreactive substances (DLIS) in the serum of individuals, especially premature and full-term neonates, not being treated with digoxin. In some cases, values have been as high as 10 μg/L. Levels as high as 20 μg/L and 80 μg/g can be found in bile and meconium. Because of the magnitude of this interference, it is essential that methods be developed for measuring digoxin in the presence of DLIS. This is particularly important when such analyses are required in forensic science cases of suspected digoxin toxicity. This report outlines the high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) and radioimmunoassay (RIA) methods that we used in assessing the relative contribution made by digoxin, its metabolites, and DLIS to serum and tissue digoxin concentrations obtained by RIA in a forensic pediatric case of suspected digoxin toxicity.
Assistant professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
University of British Columbia and research assistant, Lipid Research Group, Shaughnessy Hospital, Vancouver, B.C.
Clinical chemist, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, B.C.
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