SOFT - TIAFT 1998 Poster Session 1 Wednesday October 7, 1998

Gisela Skopp, Lucia Pötsch*, Beate Ganßmann, Rolf Aderjan, and Rainer Mattern

Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Vosstr. 2, D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany
* Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Johannes-Gutenberg Universität, Am Pulverturm 3, D-55131 Mainz, Germany

Nowadays, special attention is paid to the ratios of morphine and its glucuronide conjugates which are recommended for evaluation of morphine or heroin medication and statements concerning last administration or the survival time. Blood samples in the forensic lab are often not well defined, and the subcompartments of blood cannot be considered as pharmacokinetically homogenous. Therefore, the dependence of morphine and glucuronide distribution between whole blood, plasma and red blood cells on hematocrit and water content was investigated.

Red blood cell-plasma-suspensions (hematocrit 10, 42, 44, 71%) were made up from a fresh blood sample and spiked with morphine, morphine-6- and morphine-3-glucuronide. The original samples as well as the corresponding parts of packed erythrocytes and plasma were analyzed by HPLC/fluorescence detection. Additionally, 10 blood specimens (hematocrit 38-54%) and decanted serum from heroin addicts were investigated.

The blood / plasma ratio of morphine concentrations was unaffected by variations in hematocrit and water content, while the corresponding ratios for morphine-3- and morphine-6-glucuronide were strongly influenced. Showing ratios of 0.53 to 0.65 and 0.52 to 0.62 in specimens with average hematocrit values (42, 44%) in blood samples with different hematocrit values the ratios were 0.81 or 0.89 (hematocrit 10%) and 0.27 or 0.28 (hematocrit 71%). In contrast to the morphine conjugates, morphine was highly bound to / or partitioned into red blood cells (ße = 55.9). The blood/serum ratios measured in authentic samples did not differ from the values established in red cell-plasma-suspensions within the precision of the analytical method. Although preliminary data, the findings already demonstrate that metabolite ratios are highly dependent on the major constituents of the particular biological matrix under investigation.

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