Journal Article

Distribution of <i>Aconitum</i> Alkaloids in Body Fluids and Tissues in a Suicidal Case of Aconite Ingestion

Kitae Ito, Satoshi Tanaka, Masato Funayama and Michinao Mizugaki

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 24, issue 5, pages 348-353
Published in print July 2000 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online July 2000 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/24.5.348
Distribution of Aconitum Alkaloids in Body Fluids and Tissues in a Suicidal Case of Aconite Ingestion

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A case involving a suicidal ingestion of Aconitum tubers is presented. A 40-year-old woman in Hokkaido, Japan ingested ground aconite and died of aconite intoxication about 4 h after ingestion. The Aconitum alkaloids were quantitated using gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring from extracts of the body fluids and organs. The blood and urine concentrations of jesaconitine, the main alkaloid of the aconite in this case, were 69.1 ng/mL and 237.8 ng/mL, respectively. Higher values of the alkaloid were demonstrated in the kidneys, the liver, and in the bile rather than other organs or serum, suggesting the alkaloids were eliminated by the liver and kidneys. In the gastrointestinal tract, the highest value of jesaconitine (471.3 ng/g) was in the ileal contents. These findings show that Aconitum alkaloids were found in the liver and kidneys in much higher concentrations than in serum and suggest that they were eliminated not only via urine but also in feces. Feces may be useful to detect Aconitum alkaloid if other biological samples are not available.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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