Researchers design an alternative to blood test to detect drugs in the body

June 21, 2007

The presence of narcotic substances in a person’s body can usually be detected by a blood or urine test.

By means of a simple technique, doctors can say if someone is under the influence of a drug (through blood), if they have taken it within the last week (through urine) or if they usually take it (through the bile test).

However, a research group of the department of Legal Medicine and Psychiatry of the University of Granada, coordinated by professor Antonio Hernández Jerez, has developed a new technique to obtain this information by testing the pericardial fluid.

The importance of his research lies in the multiple advantages of this fluid with regard to the others. Pericardial fluid is plasma ultrafiltered from the serous vessel surrounding the heart, a watertight compartment separated from blood. Blood analysis usually presents a problem: matrix interferences, such as red cells, proteins, fats, etc., which complicate this method.

The work, supervised by professor Hernández, has allowed to determine that the pericardial fluid is an alternative to test blood in order to carry out drug tests for forensic purposes, as it offers enough guarantees and presents a similar concentration of narcotic substances. One of the advantages highlighted by the professor of the UGR is that this test is easier than blood test as it shows less interference and takes more time to decompose after the death of the person, which makes it possible to determine if the presence of drugs is connected with the death.

Source: Universidad de Granada

Explore further: Worried about holiday weight gain? Your scale isn't giving you the whole picture

Related Stories

Worried about holiday weight gain? Your scale isn't giving you the whole picture

November 27, 2017
A new, long-term diet study published in the high impact American Heart Association journal, Circulation, used MRI imaging technology for the first time to plot the diverse changes in an array of body organ fat storage pools ...

Building a drug delivery platform to regenerate heart tissue

May 21, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- While current heart-attack treatments mainly try to preserve healthy heart tissue, scientists have been finding compounds that can stimulate growth of new tissue – either by getting heart muscle ...

Researchers sound alarm over Zika's potentially harmful heart effects

March 9, 2017
As the Zika virus continues to spread globally, new evidence has emerged about the virus's potentially detrimental effects on the heart, according to data scheduled for presentation at the American College of Cardiology's ...

Supplement can lessen kidney damage linked to genetic mutations in transgenic fruit flies

April 20, 2017
An off-the-shelf dietary supplement available for pennies per dose demonstrated the ability to reverse cellular damage linked to specific genetic mutations in transgenic fruit flies, an experimental model of genetic mutation-induced ...

Recommended for you

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.