Original Article

International Journal of Legal Medicine

, 123:97

First online:

Interpretation of drug concentrations in an alternative matrix: the case of meprobamate in bile

  • L. FantonAffiliated withUniversité de LyonInstitut de Médecine Légale, Université Lyon 1 Email author 
  • , F. BevalotAffiliated withUniversité de LyonInstitut de Médecine Légale, Université Lyon 1Institut de Médecine Légale, Unité de toxicologie, Université Lyon 1
  • , M. P. GustinAffiliated withUniversité de LyonInstitut des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et biologiques–ISPB, Université Lyon 1
  • , C. Z. PaultreAffiliated withUniversité de LyonInstitut des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et biologiques–ISPB, Université Lyon 1
  • , C. Le MeurAffiliated withUniversité de LyonInstitut de Médecine Légale, Université Lyon 1Institut de Médecine Légale, Unité de toxicologie, Université Lyon 1
  • , D.  MalicierAffiliated withUniversité de LyonInstitut de Médecine Légale, Université Lyon 1

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Abstract

Investigating toxicological causes of death may require alternative matrices when the usual ones are lacking. Whereas forensic toxicology uses bile almost only for xenobiotic screening, a diagnostic test interpreting postmortem bile concentrations of meprobamate is reported. Based on 128 sets of autopsy data, its intrinsic qualities were good, with 0.95 sensitivity and 0.93 specificity. In a French forensic population, the positive and negative predictive factors were 0.90 and 0.97, respectively. It is a useful means of revealing overdoses where blood samples are not available or of confirming blood tests when postmortem redistribution is suspected.

Keywords

Meprobamate Bile Forensic toxicology Lethal intoxication Autopsy