Journal Article

Stability of Ethanol in Postmortem Blood and Vitreous Humor in Long-Term Refrigerated Storage

Theresa Olsen and W. Lee Hearn

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 27, issue 7, pages 517-519
Published in print October 2003 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online October 2003 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/27.7.517
Stability of Ethanol in Postmortem Blood and Vitreous Humor in Long-Term Refrigerated Storage

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Ethanol concentrations in postmortem blood and vitreous humor samples collected at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Department over 5–6 years ago were reexamined to assess whether vitreous humor is a more reliable specimen for the analysis of ethanol in samples stored long term. The average change in 50-mL polypropylene tubes containing blood was 0.06 gm/dL (35% loss). On the other hand, vitreous humor samples collected in 10-mL gray-top Vacutainer tubes yielded an average change of 0.01 gm/dL (6.1% loss). This study demonstrates that vitreous humor may be a reliable matrix for ethanol analysis following prolonged refrigerated storage of the samples.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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