<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 25, Issue 1, March 2017



Rom J Leg Med25(1)89-91(2017)
DOI:10.4323/rjlm.2017.89
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine


Application of energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDX) in forensics – titanium, silicon and magnesium in the stomach contents as good indicators for ingestion of pharmaceutical tablets

N. Tanaka, A. Takakura, M. Kumihashi, M. Jamal, A. Ito, S. Kimura, K. Tsutsui, K. Ameno, H. Kinoshita,


Abstract: We present a case of drug overdose in which energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDX) was applied as a screening test. Elemental analysis by EDX identified strong peaks for titanium, silicon and magnesium in the stomach contents that seemed to be derived from pharmaceutical additives in ingested pharmaceutical tablets. Toxicological examination using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry identified toxic levels of 7-aminonitrazepam, 7-aminoflunitrazepam (metabolites of nitrazepam and flunitrazepam, respectively) and some other drugs in the blood, and also residues in the stomach. We concluded that the cause of death was poisoning due to ingestion of multiple drugs. Our results indicate that the detection of titanium, silicon and magnesium in stomach contents offers a good indicator for ingestion of tablets and that EDX provides useful information for forensic diagnosis.
Keywords: X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDX), toxicological screening, titanium, silicon, stomach contents



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