Site dependence of postmortem blood methadone concentrations

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1995 Jun;16(2):97-100. doi: 10.1097/00000433-199506000-00002.


A case investigated by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Maryland, identified methadone at a heart blood concentration of 2.4 mg/L and a subclavian blood concentration of 0.8 mg/L. Due to these discrepant results, a study was undertaken to determine whether such inconsistencies occurred in other methadone cases. Of the 15 cases studied, only four had heart blood and alternate blood concentrations within 20% of one another. In only 53% of the cases were variations of < 60% observed. The data failed to show a trend where one site was consistently higher or lower than the other site.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Vessels / chemistry*
  • Femoral Vein / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / blood*
  • Pericardium / chemistry
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Subclavian Vein / chemistry
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Veins / chemistry
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / chemistry


  • Methadone