SOFT - TIAFT 1998 Scientific Session 6 Thursday October 8, 1998
Click Picture Philip M. Kemp and Gary S. Sneed

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Methamphetamine continues to enjoy widespread use in Oklahoma. Tissue drug concentrations, most notably brain, have received increasing interest regarding the interpretation of drug effects. This paper will present data from 52 postmortem cases. The data will be from cases involving various causes and manners of death. The concentrations of methamphetamine and amphetamine were determined in blood, vitreous, liver and brain.

Blood was screened for methamphetamine and amphetamine using radioimmunoassay. Blood and tissue homogenates from positives were confirmed and quantitated with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) following a liquid-liquid extraction from alkalinized samples to which n-propyamphetamine (NPA) had been added as an internal standard. The extracts were derivatized with pentafluoropropionic anhydride, evaporated to dryness and reconstituted with 50 mcL n-propanol. Analysis of the specimens was achieved with a HP 5890/5971 GC/MS operated in the electron impact mode with temperature programming and selected ion monitoring. Ions monitored were: methamphetamine, 118, 160, 204; amphetamine, 91, 118, 190; NPA, 118, 190, 232. Retention times were sufficiently different for compounds with common ions.

The mean concentrations of the two compounds are listed below (mcg/mL, mcg/G):

heart blood femoral blood subclavian blood vitreous liver brain
methamphetamine 2.39 1.21 2.75 1.38 8.90 5.89
amphetamine 0.27 0.26 0.44 0.27 1.57 0.91

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