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Concentration distribution of more than 100 drugs and metabolites in forensic hair samples

Abstract

Drug testing in hair can complement conventional blood and urine analysis as it enlarges the window of detection and may allow a differentiation of heavy from moderate or rare use. Databases of drug concentrations in biological matrices are a valuable support in interpreting analytical results. In forensic toxicology, several databases exist especially for blood/serum samples. In the present paper, the concentration distributions of more than 100 legal and illegal drugs such as narcotic drugs, opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and major metabolites detected in authentic Caucasian hair samples in our laboratory are summarized. Depending on availability, the proximal sections of 1–6 cm in length were analyzed by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry following extraction of the finely chopped specimens by ultrasound in methanol. The data may present a helpful basis also for other laboratories for an initial evaluation of their results. However, these statistical data should not be used uncritically without including the circumstances of the particular case and the analytical procedures used. In addition, each laboratory in charge of interpreting results from hair analysis should balance own results as far as available with this data base.

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Correspondence to F. Musshoff.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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H. Sachs is deceased.

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Musshoff, F., Schwarz, G., Sachs, H. et al. Concentration distribution of more than 100 drugs and metabolites in forensic hair samples. Int J Legal Med (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02259-3

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Keywords

  • Hair testing
  • Forensic
  • Drugs
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Statistics
  • Database