Volume 33, Issue 5 (September 1988)
Heroin, Morphine, and Hydromorphone Determination in Postmortem Material by High Performance Liquid Chromatography
A procedure has been developed for the simultaneous determination of heroin, morphine, and hydromorphone from postmortem tissues by reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using electrochemical detection. This method permits the direct determination of unmetabolized heroin from antemortem or postmortem urine as evidence of illegal drug use. Presumptive confirmation of heroin was based on the ability to hydrolyze the HPLC heroin fraction to morphine. Heroin was also confirmed in urine by gas chromatographic/mass spectroscopic (GC/MS) analysis of the HPLC fraction. Analysis of postmortem blood, gastric contents, urine, and injection site tissues have revealed the presence of morphine and hydromorphone, while heroin has only been identified in urine.