A fatal blood concentration of 5-APB

Forensic Sci Int. 2018 Oct;291:e1-e3. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.08.044. Epub 2018 Sep 6.


For the new psychoactive drug 5-(2-aminopropyl) benzofuran (5-APB), very limited knowledge is available regarding lethal concentrations. We present a case and report the post mortem blood concentration of a fatal outcome for a 25 year old man related to the consumption of 5-APB. After intake, he became unconscious and stopped breathing. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was started without success. After 30min he was declared dead at the scene. During autopsy, whole blood from the femoral vein was collected and screened for a wide range of medicinal drugs and drugs of abuse. 5-APB was initially identified by ultra high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS) and subsequently confirmed by using ultra high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). The only toxicological findings were ethanol 0.6g/L, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 0.0024mg/L and 5-APB 0.86mg/L. The cause of death was attributed to intake of 5-APB. Only one previous report of a fatal 5-APB concentration as the main toxicological agent exist in the literature, and the present concentration indicated that 5-APB could be lethal in lower concentrations than previously reported.

Keywords: 5-APB; Analysis; Fatal intoxication; Novel psychoactive substance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzofurans / blood*
  • Benzofurans / chemistry
  • Benzofurans / poisoning*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Designer Drugs / analysis*
  • Designer Drugs / chemistry
  • Designer Drugs / poisoning*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Structure
  • Propylamines / blood*
  • Propylamines / chemistry
  • Propylamines / poisoning*
  • Pulmonary Edema / pathology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications


  • Benzofurans
  • Designer Drugs
  • Propylamines
  • 5-(2-aminopropyl)benzofuran