(Received 17 April 1989; accepted 14 June 1989)
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The dependence of postmortem blood-drug concentrations on the collection site and on the postmortem interval before specimen collection has been studied. These studies consisted of both sequential sampling from the same collection site at defined time intervals and a comparison of the drug concentrations of postmortem blood simultaneously collected from various sites. A site and time dependence was observed for postmortem blood-drug concentrations. The heart blood-drug concentrations were, in general, significantly higher than those of peripheral specimens. As a result of this phenomenon, the analysis of peripheral blood specimens and solid tissues is often necessary before a definitive interpretation of postmortem toxicological analyses is possible.
Chief forensic toxicologist, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK
Chief toxicologist, Sierra Nevada Laboratories, Reno, NV
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