Determination of 6-Monoacetyl-Morphine (6-MAM) in Brain Samples from Heroin Fatalities
Gabriella Roda1*, Fiorenza Farè1, Lucia Dell’Acqua1, Sebastiano Arnoldi1, Veniero Gambaro1, Antonella Argo2, Giacomo Luca Visconti1, Eleonora Casagni1, Paolo Procaccianti2, Marta Cippitelli3 and Rino Froldi3
- *Corresponding Author:
- Gabriella Roda
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Milan, Via Mangiagalli 25, 20133 Milan, Italy
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: November 10, 2015; Accepted date: December 03, 2015; Published date: December 07, 2015
Citation: Roda G, Farè F, Acqua LD, Arnoldi S, Gambaro V, et al. (2015) Determination of 6-Monoacetyl-Morphine (6-MAM) in Brain Samples from Heroin Fatalities. Pharm Anal Acta 6:451. doi:10.4172/2153-2435.1000451
Copyright: © 2015 Roda G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Objective: Post-mortem brain samples from 15 deceased patients whose death was heroin related, were analyzed to determine 6-monoacetyl-morphine (6-MAM) concentrations. The samples belonged to people died between 2008 and 2014. The first eight samples were also analyzed in 2012 to determine only morphine and codeine levels. Method: A GC/MS method was studied in order to enhance sensitivity, thus helping the determination of 6-MAM whose detection is in most cases difficult because of the complexity of the biological matrix. The analytical method was validated using deuterated internal standards (IS-D3, morphine-D3 and codeine-D3) and it showed adequate specificity, linearity, LOD, LOQ precision and accuracy for the determination of the analyte of interest. Results: 6-MAM was evidenced only in the more recent samples, thus pointing out its low stability. Its concentration ranged from 15.6 to 28.9 ng/g. Morphine and codeine was also determined and a comparison was carried out between the blood and the brain levels of the three analytes. Moreover a parallel was established between the concentrations of morphine and codeine found in the brain in 2012 and 2015. Conclusion: 6-MAM determination in the brain is particularly important when discriminating between morphine assumption and heroin abuse. In fact in the cases in which it is not detectable in the blood it can be present in the brain. It was noticed that the concentrations of morphine found in the brain in 2015 are higher respect to the levels of 2012; a possible explanation could be that 6-MAM originally present in the brain has hydrolyzed to morphine, thus increasing its levels.