Journal Published Online: 05 May 2004
Volume 49, Issue 4

Stability of Drugs in Stored Postmortem Femoral Blood and Vitreous Humor



The stability of 46 drugs in postmortem femoral blood stored for one year at -20°C was investigated. The drugs included benzodiazepines, antidepressants, analgetics and hypnotics. For seven drugs we found a significant change in the concentration between the first and second analysis. Five substances; ethanol, desmethylmianserin, 7-amino-nitrazepam, THC and zopiclone showed a decrease in the concentration whereas the concentrations of two substances; ketobemidone and thioridazine increased. However, the changes observed were not of such an order that it would affect the interpretation in normal forensic casework. We also investigated the possible influence of potassium fluoride on the concentrations of the 46 drugs in vitreous humor after storage for one year. For two substances, ethanol and zopiclone, there were significantly lower concentrations in the samples without potassium fluoride. Furthermore, we also studied the correlation between the concentrations in femoral blood and vitreous humor. For 23 substances there was a significant difference between the concentrations in the vitreous humor and femoral blood. Significant correlations between the concentrations in these two specimens were found for 23 substances, indicating that vitreous humor can be an alternative specimen when blood samples are not available, provided that such correlation exists for the particular substance. Statistical analysis also revealed a correlation between the degree of protein binding of the different drugs and percentage of vitreous/femoral blood concentrations.

Author Information

Holmgren, P
Linkoöping University, Linköping, Sweden
Druid, H
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Holmgren, A
Linkoöping University, Linköping, Sweden
Ahlner, J
Linkoöping University, Linköping, Sweden
Pages: 6
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Stock #: JFS2003433
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003433