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Cyanide quantification in post-mortem biological matrices by headspace GC–MS


Cyanide quantification in post-mortem biological matrices by headspace GC–MS

Desharnais, Brigitte ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7373-656X, Huppé, Geneviève, Lamarche, Martine, Mireault, Pascal and Skinner, Cameron D. (2012) Cyanide quantification in post-mortem biological matrices by headspace GC–MS. Forensic Science International, 222 (1-3). pp. 346-351. ISSN 0379-0738

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.06.017


Cyanide is a powerful chemical asphyxiant found in some forensic cases following voluntary (suicide) or involuntary ingestion (fire, accidental exposure). A quantification method for cyanide that is specifically suited to post-mortem forensic purposes was developed. Determination was performed by headspace gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry using a GS-GASPRO column on an HP-6890 gas chromatograph with an HP-5973N mass detector. The biological sample was treated with an internal standard, frozen, glacial acetic acid was added and the sample was then incubated at 60 °C for 15 min. The headspace was sampled with a disposable syringe, and analyzed to quantify hydrogen cyanide. Isotopically labeled cyanide (13C15N) was used as the internal standard to minimize matrix effect and sampling error. The method produced an extended linear dynamic range (0.07–50 μg/mL), and a method detection limit of 0.02 μg/mL. Identical calibration curves were obtained when blood, gastric contents and aqueous solutions were used as the calibration standard matrix. This method was also successful in quantitating cyanide in gastric contents, one of the most variable biological fluids. The method has been validated and is being used for current forensic cases such as fire victims and suicides.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Chemistry and Biochemistry
Item Type:Article
Authors:Desharnais, Brigitte and Huppé, Geneviève and Lamarche, Martine and Mireault, Pascal and Skinner, Cameron D.
Journal or Publication:Forensic Science International
Date:6 July 2012
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.06.017
Keywords:Cyanide, gas chromatography, headspace analysis, blood, gastric content, forensic toxicology
ID Code:986574
Deposited On:07 Apr 2020 21:12
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 21:12
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