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Interpreting postmortem drug analysis and redistribution in determining cause of death: a review

Authors Kennedy M

Received 14 April 2015

Accepted for publication 11 June 2015

Published 3 August 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 55—62


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Paul Zhang

Michael Kennedy

Department of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, St Vincent's Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Abstract: Multiple interacting factors alter the measured concentration of almost all drugs after death. The ratio of centrally to peripherally collected samples provides an indication of this redistribution. At present, there are no reliable markers from which to accurately predict how much an individual drug has redistributed. Knowledge of antemortem factors is essential for the interpretation of the effects of any measured drug or toxin.

Keywords: postmortem drugs, drug redistribution

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