Document Detail

Concentrations of free-morphine in peripheral blood after recent use of heroin in overdose deaths and in apprehended drivers.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21353406     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The concentration of free-morphine was determined in peripheral (femoral) blood from heroin-related deaths and compared with the concentration in venous blood from impaired drivers. The presence of 6-MAM in blood or urine served as a biomarker for recent use of heroin. Males dominated over females (p<0.001) in both the autopsy cases (88%) and the drivers (91%), although their mean age was about the same 33-35 y (p>0.05). Concentrations of free-morphine in blood were not associated with age of heroin users in Sweden (p>0.05). The median concentration of free-morphine was higher in autopsy cases (0.24mg/L, N=766) compared with apprehended drivers with 6-MAM in blood (0.15mg/L, N=124, p<0.05), and appreciably higher than in drivers with 6-MAM in urine but not in blood (0.03mg/L, N=1823, p<0.001). The free-morphine concentration was above 0.20mg/L in 65% of autopsy cases, 36% of drivers with 6-MAM in blood but only 1.4% of drivers with 6-MAM in urine. Poly-drug deaths had about the same concentrations of free-morphine in blood (0.24mg/L, N=703) as heroin-only deaths (0.25mg/L, N=63). The concentration of morphine in drug overdose deaths (median 0.25mg/L, N=669) was about the same as in traumatic deaths among heroin users (0.23mg/L, N=97). However, the concentration of morphine was lower when the deceased had consumed alcohol (0.18mg/L, N=104) compared with taking a benzodiazepine (0.32mg/L, N=94). The concentration distributions of free-morphine in blood in heroin-related deaths overlapped with the concentrations in impaired drivers, which makes the interpretation of toxicology results difficult without knowledge about tolerance to opiates in any individual case.
A W Jones; A Holmgren; J Ahlner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-2-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Forensic science international     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-6283     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-2-28     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7902034     Medline TA:  Forensic Sci Int     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Forensic Genetics and Forensic Toxicology, National Board of Forensic Medicine, Artillerigatan 12, SE-587 58 Linköping, Sweden.
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