Determination of propofol by GC/MS and fast GC/MS-TOF in two cases of poisoning

Antonina Argo, Eleonora Casagni, Sebastiano Arnoldi, Sara Facheris, Antonina Argo, Paolo Procaccianti, Gabriella Roda, Veniero Gambaro, Giacomo Luca Visconti, Fiorenza Farè

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

6 Citazioni (Scopus)


Two cases of suspected acute and lethal intoxication caused by propofol were delivered by the judicial authority to the Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother-Child Care in Palermo, Sicily. In the first case a female nurse was found in a hotel room, where she lived with her mother; four 10 mg/mL vials and two 20 mg/mL vials of propofol were found near the decedent along with syringes and needles. In the second case a male nurse was found in the operating room of a hospital, along with a used syringe. In both cases a preliminary systematic and toxicological analysis indicated the presence of propofol in the blood and urine. As a result, a method for the quantitative determination of propofol in biological fluids was optimized and validated using a liquid-liquid extraction protocol followed by GC/MS and fast GC/MS-TOF. In the first case, the concentration of propofol in blood was determined to be 8.1 μg/mL while the concentration of propofol in the second case was calculated at 1.2 μg/mL. Additionally, the tissue distribution of propofol was determined for both cases. Brain and liver concentrations of propofol were, respectively, 31.1 and 52.2 μg/g in Case 1 and 4.7 and 49.1 μg/g in Case 2. Data emerging from the autopsy findings, histopathological exams as well as the toxicological results aided in establishing that the deaths were due to poisoning, however, the manner of death in each were different: homicide in Case 1 and suicide in Case 2.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)771-776
Numero di pagine6
RivistaJournal of Analytical Toxicology
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1600.1602???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2300.2304???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.3000.3005???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2300.2307???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1500.1504???


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