The forensic science implications of site and temporal influences on postmortem blood-drug concentrations

J Forensic Sci. 1990 Mar;35(2):243-70.


The dependence of postmortem blood-drug concentrations on the collection site and on the postmortem interval before specimen collection has been studied. These studies consisted of both sequential sampling from the same collection site at defined time intervals and a comparison of the drug concentrations of postmortem blood simultaneously collected from various sites. A site and time dependence was observed for postmortem blood-drug concentrations. The heart blood-drug concentrations were, in general, significantly higher than those of peripheral specimens. As a result of this phenomenon, the analysis of peripheral blood specimens and solid tissues is often necessary before a definitive interpretation of postmortem toxicological analyses is possible.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / blood*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / pharmacokinetics
  • Blood Specimen Collection*
  • Humans
  • Postmortem Changes*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic