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Investigation of a Unique Adjunct to Enzyme Immunoassay in Order to Rapidly Perform First-Pass Screening for Drugs and Poisons in Postmortem Toxicology Cases

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2006
42 pages

This report details a National Institute of Justice, grant funded project designed to investigate the potential use of novel methods and testing that facilitate the rapid identification and quantitation of various drugs as an alternative to conventional testing.


It was demonstrated that a simple acetone extraction from blood was suitable for liquid chromatography/mass spectrometer/mass spectrometer (LC/MS/MS) analysis of a wide range of drugs encountered in forensic samples. During the project, methods were developed that facilitated rapid identification and quantitation of over 100 different drugs. There were some drugs (e.g. morphine, hydromorphone, and THCA) that did not produce adequate sensitivity or were not detected because of early elution from the column. It was also determined that some drugs had degraded during storage of blood samples. This type of information could prove important in cases where a significant time interval has elapsed between death or sample collection and the subsequent analysis.

Date Published: March 1, 2006