Volume 40, Issue 4 (July 1995)
Distribution of Ethanol in Postmortem Liver
The analysis of multiple specimens for ethanol has become a necessary and accepted practice in postmortem forensic toxicology. The correlation between blood and various body fluids has been well documented. However, there is little data on the distribution of ethanol in specimens such as the liver. In postmortem cases where blood is unavailable or contaminated, liver may be used for alcohol and drug analyses. This study reports the analysis, by head space gas chromatography, of heart blood and liver specimens for ethanol from 103 postmortem cases. The average liver/heart blood ratio in cases with a blood alcohol level (BAC) ≥0.04 g/dL was 0.56, SD = 0.30, with a range of 0–1.40.