A 27-year-old man was carrying in his digestive tract 99 packages each containing about 10 g of a 86% cocaine powder. The courier died by acute cocaine intoxication due to inflation and rupture of four packages during a flight from Bogotá to Rome. At the autopsy, the external examination was unremarkable. The internal examination showed edema and generalized congestion of the organs.
Toxicological analyses were performed by gas chromatographymass spectrometry after solid phase extraction using Bond Elut Certify columns and derivatization with BSTFA/TMCS. High levels of cocaine and benzoylecgonine were found in blood (4.0 μg/mL and 17.0 μg/mL), urine (152.0 μg/mL and 512.0 μg/mL), bile (99.8 μg/mL and 54.0 μg/mL), vitreous humor (7.1 μg/mL and 5.8 μg/mL), brain (7.5 μg/mL and 3.5 μg/mL), and hair (55.5 ng/mg and 27.7 ng/mg). The presence of the cocaine and its metabolite in the hair suggested that the man was a cocaine user.
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