The postmortem redistribution of morphine, morphine-3-glucuronide, morphine-6-glucuronide and total morphine was assessed in 40 heroin-related deaths. In blood taken from subclavian, heart, and femoral regions, concentrations of morphine and its metabolites were similar. While there was a trend for higher concentrations in heart blood, when compared with femoral or subclavian blood, this was not significant. There was also no significant difference in concentrations between admission and autopsy blood in which the postmortem interval was on average 59 h. From our observations, significant postmortem redistribution of morphine and its metabolites seems unlikely.
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