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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222512 Find in a Library
Title: Chemical Structure of Endogenous Compounds of the Biological Background and Their Significance in Identification Analysis of Xenobiotics
Journal: Problems of Forensic Sciences  Volume:54  Dated:2003  Pages:60-81
Author(s): Roman Wachowiak
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 22
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English; Polish
Country: Poland
Annotation: Drawing on what research has shown about the chemical changes that occur naturally in a human body after death, this article draws implications for toxicological findings regarding intoxication at the time of death due to the living person's consumption of xenobiotics.
Abstract: The author concludes that research indicates the postmortem degradation of biological material is conducive to the natural production of chemical compounds that interfere with the identification of xenobiotics in a person's body prior to death. The following are among the most frequently detected groups of compounds produced naturally due to decomposition of corpses: volatile inorganic compounds (mostly hydrogen sulphide); alcohols (mostly ethyl alcohol and 1-butanol); acetaldehyde; 2-propanone (acetone); lower and higher monocarboxylic acids; aliphatic-aromatic acids; and aliphatic-aromatic amines. In dealing with the complications posed by the presence of these compounds produced in the corpse due to decomposition, the toxicologist should focus on the distinctive indirect products of biodegradation linked with the abuse of ethyl alcohol, i.e., biomarkers that signal addiction, such as Pictet-Spenger alkalies, ethylester of higher fatty acids and of phospholipids, and ethyl glucuronate. The toxicologist should also look for compounds from the group of popular stimulants (caffeine, theobromine), and typical biochemical components of body fluids (cholesterol, trichloroehtylene, and di- and monoglycerides). In order to ensure the prompt and reliable differentiation of xenobiotics consumed at time of death from compounds produced by the body after death, toxicologists should use systems of gas or liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrophotometry accompanied by a library of spectra (WILAY, NIST). The latter aid in identifying sets of compounds contained in extracts of autopsy material that originate from cadavers at an extremely advanced stage of decomposition. 4 figures, 1 table, and 19 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Autopsy; Blood/body fluid analysis; Death investigations; Foreign criminal justice research; Forensic sciences; Poisons and poison analysis
Note: Downloaded April 30, 2008
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