Post Mortem Blood and Vitreous Humor Ethanol Levels Relation in Fars Legal Medicine Center

Document Type : Original Article


1 Specialist in Forensic Medicine,Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization,Tehran, Iran.

2 Pharm D.Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization,Tehran, Iran.

3 Immunology M.S Degree.Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization,Tehran, Iran.

4 Chemistery M.S Degree.Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization,Tehran, Iran.

5 Medical Laboratory Science B.S Degree.Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization,Tehran, Iran.

6 Assistant Professor, Forensic Medicine Group.Forensic Medicine group, School of Medicine, Jundishpur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

7 General Practitioner, Legal Medicine Research Center, Legal Medicine Organization,Tehran, Iran.


Background and Objective: The concentration of ethanol measured in postmortem blood needs to be interpreted as to whether the person who had consumed alcohol has exceeded some threshold limit. However, interpreting postmortem BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) results and drawing correct conclusions about ante mortem levels is fraught with difficulties as under some circumstances alcohol might be produced after death by microbial activity.
Subjects and Methods: In the case of ethanol, the blood samples should be taken from a femoral vein and whenever possible additional specimens, such as urine and vitreous humor (VH), should also be obtained and sent for analysis to be able to have the best interpretation
Results: 167 Specimens of femoral vein blood and vitreous humor were analyzed. In this study, direct injection and gas-chromatographic techniques were employed to quantitate the ethanol concentrations. These two concentrations were then compared and the BAC/VHAC (Viterous Humor Alcohol Concentration) ratio was evaluated.
Among these specimens, there were 142 cases in which we have found ethanol in blood but not in vitreous humor. Also we have found 2 cases by positive VHAC but negative BAC. The average blood ethanol concentration was 61.5 mg/dLit while the average ethanol vitreous humor concentration was 127 mg/dLit. However, the ratio was measured as 0.7.
Conclusion: The similarity in the results of the post mortem cases reinforces the assertion that co analysis of vitreous humor and blood is important to interpret post mortem results.


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