Fatal intoxication with 1,1-difluoroethane (DFE) due to inhalation of a spray cleaner: analysis by GC–MS
Animal studies suggested that halogenated hydrocarbons such as 1,1-difluoroethane (DFE) sensitized myocardial tissues to catecholamines and might cause fatal arrhythmia. In this paper, we report a case of a fatality that was associated with DFE abuse, and quantified DFE concentrations in postmortem specimens using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS).
Femoral vein blood, cardiac blood, and urine samples were taken from the autopsy for toxicological analysis. We have established a detailed procedure for quantification of DFE in human blood and urine by GC–MS and have presented its validation data.
The concentrations of DFE in this case were 481, 591 and 201 µg/mL in femoral vein blood, cardiac blood and urine samples, respectively, which were much higher than those in previous cases measured by gas chromatography–flame ionization detection. Thus, in the absence of other remarkable autopsy findings, the cause of death was determined to be DFE intoxication.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of quantification of DFE in human blood and urine specimens by GC–MS.
Keywords1,1-Difluoroethane (DFE) Fatal autopsy case Human blood and urine Fatal intoxication Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
There are no financial or other relations that could lead to conflicts of interest.
The analyses of toxic substances were requested by judicial authorities with documentation. The blank blood and urine (about 10 mL, respectively) were collected from a healthy volunteer with informed consent.
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