Journal Article

A Fatality Involving 1,3-Propanediol and its Implications in Measurement of other Glycols

Uttam Garg, C. Clinton Frazee, Mike Kiscoan, David Scott, Bonita Peterson and David Cathcart

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 32, issue 4, pages 324-326
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/32.4.324
A Fatality Involving 1,3-Propanediol and its Implications in Measurement of other Glycols

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The decomposed body of a 45-year-old female was found, face down, in a mobile home, along with a suicide note and two antifreeze containers. Analysis of the body fluid collected from the decedent showed the presence of 58 mg/dL ethanol, but suspected ethylene glycol was not found in the sample. However, an unusually large peak of internal standard, 1,3-propanediol, was found in the sample. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis confirmed the presence of 1,3-propanediol in the sample. Using gas chromatography-flame-ionization detection, the concentration of 1,3-propanediol was determined to be 445 mg/dL. To our knowledge, this is the first report involving 1,3-propanediol as the cause of death. The study also highlights the importance for the close scrutiny of data, as 1,3-propanediol is a frequently used internal standard for the assay of glycols.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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