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Postmortem Fentanyl Concentrations: A Review | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7145

Journal of Forensic Research
Open Access

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Review Article

Postmortem Fentanyl Concentrations: A Review

Iain M McIntyre1* and Daniel T Anderson2

1Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Manager, County of San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, USA

2Supervising Criminalist II, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, Forensic Science Laboratories/Toxicology, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Iain M McIntyre
Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Manager
County of San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office, USA
Tel: (858) 694-2907
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 30, 2012; Accepted date: June 22, 2012; Published date: June 24, 2012

Citation: McIntyre IM, Anderson DT (2012) Postmortem Fentanyl Concentrations: A Review. J Forensic Res 3:157. doi: 10.4172/2157-7145.1000157

Copyright: © 2012 McIntyre IM, 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.


Fentanyl is a potent synthetic narcotic analgesic available through the prescription of various formulations; intravenous injection, transmucosal lollipops and lozenges, as well as transdermal patches. Over the years, fentanyl has been a steadily increasing topic of discussion in the literature with pharmacokinetic studies, postmortem case studies, antemortem case studies, comparison of postmortem specimens for cause of death interpretation, comparison of specimens in regards to postmortem redistribution, as well as many others. The objective of this paper was to review the fentanyl literature, assemble some key concepts into a single publication, and introduce additional scientific data through retrospective studies from the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner and the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office that support, as well as refute, some concepts previously published. Our paper is organized into sections by history, dosing, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, toxicity, biological concentrations, postmortem concentrations, and postmortem redistribution that include discussion and data relating central to peripheral blood ratios, and liver to peripheral blood ratios. Overall, this paper “Postmortem Fentanyl Concentrations: A Review” examines over 85 different literary sources, independently interprets scientific data, and draws conclusions with support from retrospective laboratory studies.


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