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Crichton, Megan L.; Shenton, Catriona F.; Drummond, Gail; Beer, Lewis J.; Seetohul, L. Nitin; Maskell, Peter D. (2015)
Publisher: Wiley
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: QD, RA1001
Identifiers:doi:10.1002/dta.1790
Phenazepam is a benzodiazepine that is predominantly used clinically in the former Soviet\ud states but throughout the wider world is being abused. This study reports the tissue\ud distribution and concentration of both phenazepam and 3-hydroxyphenazepam in 29 cases\ud quantitated by LC-MS/MS in a variety of postmortem fluids (subclavian blood, femoral\ud blood, cardiac blood, urine, vitreous humor) and tissues (thalamus, liver and psoas\ud muscle). In 27 cases the cause of death was not directly related to phenazepam (preserved\ud (fluoride/oxalate) femoral blood phenazepam concentrations 0.007 mg/L to 0.360 mg/L\ud (median 0.097 mg/L)). In two cases phenazepam was either a contributing factor to, or the\ud certified cause of death (preserved (fluoride/oxalate) femoral blood 0.97 mg/L and 1.64\ud mg/L). The analysis of phenazepam and 3-hydroxyphenazepam in this study suggests that\ud they are unlikely to be subject to large postmortem redistribution and that there is no direct\ud correlation between tissues/fluid and femoral blood concentrations. Preliminary\ud investigations of phenazepam stability comparing femoral blood phenazepam\ud concentrations in paired preserved (2.5% fluoride/oxalate) and unpreserved blood show\ud that unpreserved samples show on average a 14% lower concentration of phenazepam\ud and we recommend that phenazepam quantitation is carried out using preserved samples\ud wherever possible.
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