Clean Screen ® DAU cited in U.S. Medical Examiner Heroin Article

April 24th, 2017 Food Safety News

Over the past two decades, prescription and illicit opioid use has led to changes in public health policy to address the increasing number of opiate/opioid-related deaths. UCT’s flagship sorbent, Clean Screen® DAU, is recognized as the finest solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbent for opiate/opioid extraction and analysis from biological samples.   In a new paper published in Journal of Forensic Sciences (House Publication of American Academy of Forensic Sciences) JFS doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13511 by Love et al., cases submitted for analysis to Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office were reviewed between 2004 through 2015, where heroin was listed as a significant contributor or as the cause of death.

Heroin administration is confirmed in forensic toxicology laboratories by identification and quantification of 6-Monacetyl morphine (6-MAM).  For drug analyses in the Medical Examiner’s laboratory, Free and Total opiates/opioids were quantified for codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, along with free oxycodone and free oxymorphone, using GC/MS  equipped with a capillary GC-MS column following glucuronide treatment (blood total opiates/ opioids only) and solid-phase extraction (Clean® Screen, UCT, Inc., Bristol, PA, USA). Samples were then derivatized with N,O-Bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA).

The authors identified 322 heroin-related deaths, which were predominantly male (255; 79%). 6-MAM median (range) concentrations were as follows: blood (n = 7), 0.010 (0.006–0.078) mg/L; urine (n = 30), 0.359 (0.009–1.75) mg/L; and vitreous humor (n = 31), 0.034 (0.004–0.24) mg/L. Free morphine was measurable in 273 cases and the percent free morphine (range), when grouped by Cause of Death (COD), was opioid (n = 124), 28% (2.2%–92%), and mixed drug toxicity (n = 135), 35.3% (1.5%–100%); (p < 0.01). Quantitation of 6-MAM in blood and vitreous humor, along with a free to total morphine ratio >26%, was useful in establishing these heroin-related deaths. This study demonstrates why forensic toxicologists who require the finest of SPE sorbents for medico-judicial cases turn to UCT for their materials. For more information on UCT’s Clean Screen® SPE line, click here.

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