Journal Article

Ethanol Production in a Postmortem Urine Sample

Heather Antonides and Laureen Marinetti

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 35, issue 7, pages 516-518
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Ethanol Production in a Postmortem Urine Sample

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  • Medical Toxicology
  • Toxicology (Non-medical)


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Significant ethanol production in a urine sample is not a common phenomenon that occurs in postmortem volatile anaylsis. Here, a 66-year-old female decedent with a history of renal failure and diabetes originally presented at the hospital as “acting funny”. After expiring at the hospital, the toxicology section received both hospital and postmortem samples for analysis. Initially, only hospital blood and urine were analyzed for volatiles. The hospital blood was only positive for acetone. As a second matrix confirmation, the autopsy urine was also analyzed and found to be positive for acetone and ethanol. Upon initial examination, the urine sample had an ethanol value of 0.10 g%, which continued to increase to a peak concentration of 0.28 g%. This case study focuses on the production of ethanol in a urine sample that was analyzed over a three-month period. Also presented is a vitreous humor metabolic panel that contains glucose, creatinine, and urea nitrogen data for this case.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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