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NCJ Number: NCJ 242075     Find in a Library
Title: Identification and Quantification of Phenobarbital in a Mummified Body 10 Years After Death
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): Mario Giusiani, Ph.D. ; Silvio Chericoni, Ph.D. ; Ranieri Domenici, M.D.
  Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:57  Issue:5  Dated:September 2012  Pages:1384 to 1387
Date Published: 09/2012
Page Count: 4
  Annotation: This study examined the persistence of barbiturate phenobarbital in mummified bodies.
Abstract: This article reports the determination of phenobarbital in the mummified body of a 56-year-old man found completely mummified 10 years after his death. When alive, he was being treated for epilepsy with phenobarbital, and the recent analyses, performed with both immunochemical techniques and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), have revealed the presence of this substance in various tissues: the mean content of barbiturate in the mummified liver tissue was 93 ìg/g, 216 ìg/g in the heart, 17 ìg/g in the lungs, 12 ìg/g in muscles, and 31 ìg/g in the skin. Preliminary screening tests with immunochemical techniques to evaluate the presence of other drugs were also performed. The sample resulted negative for all substances tested. Phenobarbital can be identified and quantified thanks to its excellent chemical stability and a hypothesis of what the concentrations in the fresh tissue could have been has also been reported. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.
Main Term(s): Forensics/Forensic Sciences
Index Term(s): Chromatography ; Missing person investigation ; Tissue analysis ; Mass spectroscopy ; Death investigations ; Drug related fatalities
Type: Case Study
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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