A study on the correlation of blood and vitreous humour alcohol levels in the late absorption and elimination phases.

Forensic Pathology Service, Department of Health, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Medicine, science, and the law (Impact Factor: 0.53). 02/1990; 30(1):29-33. DOI: 10.1177/002580249003000107
Source: PubMed


By using the urine:blood alcohol level ratio as the indicator, the correlation of blood alcohol level (B) and vitreous humour alcohol level (V) in the late absorption and elimination phases was studied. It was found to be good (r = 0.98) and B = 0.76V + 4.7. It is suggested that this equation can safely be used to estimate the minimum blood alcohol level where cadaveric blood is unsuitable or unavailable for analysis and that the B/V ratio can be used to infer the phase in which death occurred where urine is not available.

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    ABSTRACT: Vitreous humour alcohol concentration (VHAC) and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured by gas chromatography were available from 345 medico-legal autopsies. Simple linear regression with BAC as outcome variable and VHAC as predictor variable (range 1-705 mg%) gave the regression equation BAC = 3.03 + 0.852 VHAC with 95% prediction interval +/- 0.019 square root of [7157272 + (VHAC - 189.7)2] and 99% prediction interval +/- 0.025 square root of [7157272 + (VHAC - 189.7)2]. The residual standard deviation of VHAC was 26 mg%, the standard error of the slope 0.0098 and the 95% confidence interval for the slope 0.833-0.871. In practice a BAC of 80 mg% is predicted with 95% certainty by a VHAC of 150 mg% and similarly a BAC of 150 mg% by a VHAC of 232 mg%. The prediction interval is too wide to be of real practical use. Previous authors have provided various formulae, including a simple conversion factor, to predict BAC from VHAC without taking into account the uncertainty of the prediction for an individual subject. A re-analysis of the raw data from previous publications gave in most instances regression equations significantly different from the authors' own.
    Forensic Science International 04/1994; 65(2):73-80. DOI:10.1016/0379-0738(94)90262-3 · 2.14 Impact Factor

  • Forensic Science International 05/1995; 73(2):159-160. DOI:10.1016/0379-0738(95)93910-E · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the concentrations of ethanol in femoral venous blood (FVB) and vitreous humour (VH) obtained during forensic necropsies. The ratios of ethanol concentrations in VH and FVB, the reference interval, and the associated confidence limits were calculated to provide information about the uncertainty in estimating FVB ethanol concentrations indirectly from that measured in VH. Ethanol concentrations were determined in specimens of FVB and VH obtained from 706 forensic necropsies. The specimens were analysed in duplicate by headspace gas chromatography (HS-GC), with a precision (coefficient of variation) of 1.5% at a mean ethanol concentration of 500 mg/litre. The limit of detection of ethanol in body fluids by HS-GC in routine casework was 100 mg/litre. In 34 instances, ethanol was present in VH at a mean concentration of 154 mg/litre, whereas the FVB ethanol concentration was reported as negative (< 100 mg/litre). These cases were excluded from the statistical analysis. The concentration of ethanol in FVB was higher than in VH in 93 instances, with a mean difference of 160 mg/litre (range 0 to 900). The mean concentration of ethanol in FVB (n = 672) was 1340 mg/litre (SD, 990) compared with 1580 mg/litre (SD, 1190) in VH. The arithmetic mean VH/FVB ratio of ethanol was 1.19 (SD, 0.285) and the 95% range was 0.63 to 1.75. The mean and SD of the differences (log VH - log FVB) was 0.063 (SD, 0.109), which gives 95% limits of agreement (LOA) from -0.149 to 0.276. Transforming back to the original scale of measurement gives a geometric mean VH/FVB ratio of 1.16 and 95% LOA from 0.71 to 1.89. These parametric estimates are in good agreement, with a median VH/FVB ratio of 1.18 and 2.5th and 97.5th centiles of 0.63 and 1.92. The ethanol distribution ratios (VH/FVB) show wide variation and this calls for caution when results of analysing VH at necropsy are used to estimate the concentration in FVB. Dividing the ethanol concentration in VH by 2.0 would provide a very conservative estimate of the ethanol content in FVB, being less than the true value, with a high degree of confidence.
    Journal of Clinical Pathology 09/2001; 54(9):699-702. DOI:10.1136/jcp.54.9.699 · 2.92 Impact Factor
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