Quantification of Methamphetamine in Mouse Thighbones Buried in Soil

J Forensic Sci. 2017 Nov;62(6):1554-1558. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13458. Epub 2017 Apr 23.


Bone samples are used for analysis of drugs in decomposed or skeletonized bodies. Toxicological analyses of buried bones are important for determining the causes and circumstances of death. In this study, methamphetamine and amphetamine concentrations in heart blood, thigh muscles, and thighbones were analyzed using solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Methamphetamine concentrations in heart blood, thigh muscle, and thighbone ranged from 0.041 to 0.873 μg/mL, 0.649 to 2.623 μg/g, and 56.543 to 643.371 μg/g, respectively. Thighbone concentrations were significantly higher than those in heart blood or thigh muscles were. Methamphetamine concentrations in buried thighbone (4.010-45.785 μg/g) were significantly lower than those of unburied thighbones were (56.543-643.371 μg/g). Methamphetamine and amphetamine were detected in thighbones buried for 7-180 days. These findings indicate that the methamphetamine concentrations in bone are higher and decrease after burial in soil.

Keywords: amphetamine; forensic science; liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; methamphetamine; soil; thighbone.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Burial*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Femur / chemistry*
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Methamphetamine / analysis*
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry*
  • Soil
  • Solid Phase Extraction
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Time Factors


  • Soil
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamine