A methodology for illicit heroin seizures comparison in a drug intelligence perspective using large databases

Forensic Sci Int. 2003 Mar 27;132(2):139-52. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(03)00010-0.


To characterise links between different illicit drugs chemical profiles, various distance or correlation measurements are available.Different comparison methods have been tested and a method based on a correlation coefficient using a square cosine function was chosen to compare heroin chemical profiles. Its functioning and graphical representation are described. An assessment of the number of false positives is calculated and lead to a negligible number.Moreover, it emerges from the studies that possible variations in impurity peak areas subject to possible degradations do not influence the C correlation value nor question the already established links. This solid, reliable and simple method appears therefore suitable for heroin samples comparison, links profiling and routine use.

MeSH terms

  • Crime
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Forensic Medicine / standards*
  • Heroin / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / chemistry*


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Heroin