Techniques and methodsThe influence of putrefactive changes on the determination of Paraquat in autopsy materials
Review articleOpen access

AbstractThis paper describes how the putrefactive changes in a cadaver will influence the determination of Paraquat in autopsy material. The carcasses of rats that had been given large doses of Paraquat and subsequently killed by cervical dislocation, were left at room temperature for up to seven days. Samples of stomach, caecum and liver were removed for the colorimetric determination of Paraquat with sodium dithionite following extraction on a Dowex 50W-4 column.Paraquat recovered from the stomach and caecum showed a decrease with time after death with the rate of decrease being greater in the caecum samples. However, the concentration of Paraquat in the liver increased for three days and then began to decrease gradually.The possible causes of these variations in Paraquat recovery are discussed. The findings appear to demonstrate the value of Paraquat determination even in samples from material that is in a state of advanced putrefaction.

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