Carbon monoxide analysis method in human blood by Airtight Gas Syringe - Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (AGS-GC-MS): Relevance for postmortem poisoning diagnosis.

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Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences, ISSN: 1873-376X, Vol: 1090, Page: 81-89

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Oliverio, S; Varlet, V
Elsevier BV
Chemistry; Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
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article description
Carbon monoxide is one of the most abundant toxic air pollutants. Symptoms of a CO intoxication are non-specific, leading to a high number of misdiagnosed CO poisoning cases that are missing in the disease statistics. The chemical nature of the molecule makes it difficult to detect for long periods and at low levels, thus requiring a very accurate and sensitive method. Current methods capable of accurate and sensitive analyses are available, however an inconsistency between results and symptoms are frequently reported. Therefore, an improved method for the analysis of carbon monoxide in blood and in the headspace (HS) of the sampling tube with the use of Airtight Gas Syringe - Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (AGS-GC-MS) is hereby presented and validated, for CO concentrations in a range of 10-200 nmol/mL HS (2-40 μmol/mL blood). Analytical LOQ is found at 0.9 nmol/mL HS (0.18 μmol/mL blood) and LOD at 0.1 nmol/mL gas. Application to intoxicated samples from autopsies and comparison to previously published methods show that this method is more appropriate, since performed under fully controlled conditions. Results show higher CO concentrations compared to previous approaches, indicating that results might have been underestimating the true blood CO burden. Therefore, this approach has the potential to help reduce the misdiagnosed cases and the gap between measurement and diagnosis of CO poisonings.