(Received 1 September 1989; accepted 20 November 1989)
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A sample concentration technique was adapted for the determination of cocaine and benzoylecgonine (BE) concentrations in vitreous humor. Vitreous humor (0.5 mL) was diluted 1:1 with water and applied through a filter onto a 3-cm preconcentration column. Following a simple wash step, the analytes were flushed directly onto a reversed-phase analytical high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system. Absolute recoveries were high (above 90%) and the chromatograms were free from interference. Analysis for the drug and its breakdown product was performed using ultraviolet (UV) visible photodiode array detection, which allowed confirmation of peak identity. Recognizable UV spectra could be measured with as little as 20 ng on column. Comparison of the drug levels in 27 blood and vitreous humor samples showed that, while there was only a low correlation between the blood and vitreous concentrations (R = 0.70), vitreous cocaine and BE determinations were good indicators of antemortem cocaine use. In almost all cases, the vitreous BE concentrations were higher than the cocaine concentrations. The technique was easy to perform and the vitreous samples were especially compatible with this low-labor analytical procedure.
laboratory director, State Toxicology Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Laboratory director, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN
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