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: Drugs and their metabolites can be easily detected in urine and plasma samples by classic analytical techniques (immunoassay or gas-liquid chromatography). Sometimes, these biological fluids are not collectable or are severly contaminated. Since several years, vitreous humor is used in forensic medicine for determination of time of death by using potassium estimations (Coe, 1969) or metabolic diseases (Dergun, 1986). Recently, some authors (Vogel 1981; Ziminski 1984 ; Caplan 1990) have proposed to make a toxicological screening in post mortem vitreous humor. It has been well established that drugs enter the vitreous humor as a result of passive diffusion from the blood (Felby, 1969), influenced by concentration gradient and lipid solubility.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1992 · Archives of toxicology. Supplement. = Archiv für Toxikologie. Supplement
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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.
    No preview · Article · Apr 1994 · Forensic Science International

  • No preview · Article · May 1995 · Forensic Science International
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