Volume 44, Issue 3 (May 1999)

    Postmortem Stability and Interpretation of β2-Agonist Concentrations

    (Received 15 May 1998; accepted 8 September 1998)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    This paper describes a series of stability and redistribution studies aimed at understanding the presence and significance of β2-agonists in asthma deaths. Salbutamol and terbutaline were shown to be stable in postmortem blood at 23°C for 1 week, 4°C for 6 months and −20°C for 1 to 2 years. However, fenoterol was shown to degrade at 23°C (83% loss), 4°C (93% loss) and −20°C (66% loss) over the same time. Salbutamol concentrations detected in blood taken at the time of body admission to the mortuary were not significantly different from the concentrations detected in blood taken from the same cases at the time of autopsy (45 h later). This suggests that significant postmortem redistribution of salbutamol is unlikely to occur during this period. Postmortem blood concentrations of at least salbutamol are likely to reflect the concentration of these drugs in the body at the time of death.


    Author Information:

    Couper, FJ
    Research Officer, and Assistant Director (VIFM) and Associate Professor in Forensic Medicine, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Southbank, Victoria

    Drummer, OH
    Research Officer, and Assistant Director (VIFM) and Associate Professor in Forensic Medicine, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Southbank, Victoria


    Stock #: JFS14503J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS14503J

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    Author
    Title Postmortem Stability and Interpretation of β2-Agonist Concentrations
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30