Journal Article

Relative Distribution of Ketamine and Norketamine in Skeletal Tissues Following Various Periods of Decomposition

James H. Watterson and Joseph P. Donohue

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 35, issue 7, pages 452-458
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/anatox/35.7.452
Relative Distribution of Ketamine and Norketamine in Skeletal Tissues Following Various Periods of Decomposition

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Skeletal tissues (rat) were analyzed for ketamine (KET) and norketamine (NKET) following acute ketamine exposure (75 mg/kg i.p.) to examine the influence of bone type and decomposition period on drug levels. Following euthanasia, drug-free (n = 6) and drug-positive (n = 20) animals decomposed outdoors in rural Ontario for 0, 1, or 2 weeks. Skeletal remains were recovered and ground samples of various bones underwent passive methanolic extraction and analysis by GC-MS after solid-phase extraction. Drug levels, expressed as mass normalized response ratios, were compared across tissue types and decomposition periods. Bone type was a main effect (p < 0.05) for drug level and drug/metabolite level ratio (DMLR) for all decomposition times, except for DMLR after 2 weeks of decomposition. Mean drug level (KET and NKET) and DMLR varied by up to 23-fold, 18-fold, and 5-fold, respectively, between tissue types. Decomposition time was significantly related to DMLR, KET level, and NKET level in 3/7, 4/7, and 1/7 tissue types, respectively. Although substantial site-dependence may exist in measured bone drug levels, ratios of drug and metabolite levels should be investigated for utility in discrimination of drug administration patterns in forensic work.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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