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

  • L. Fanton
  • F. Bevalot
  • M. P. Gustin
  • C. Z. Paultre
  • C. Le Meur
  • D.  Malicier
Original Article


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.


Meprobamate Bile Forensic toxicology Lethal intoxication Autopsy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Fanton
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Bevalot
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. P. Gustin
    • 1
    • 4
  • C. Z. Paultre
    • 1
    • 4
  • C. Le Meur
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • D.  Malicier
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Université de LyonLyonFrance
  2. 2.Institut de Médecine LégaleUniversité Lyon 1LyonFrance
  3. 3.Institut de Médecine Légale, Unité de toxicologieUniversité Lyon 1LyonFrance
  4. 4.Institut des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et biologiques–ISPBUniversité Lyon 1LyonFrance

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