Postmortem blood cadmium, lead, and mercury concentrations: comparisons with regard to sampling location and reference ranges for living persons
Schier, J. G., Heninger, M., Wolkin, A., Kieszak, S., Caldwell, K. L., Fajardo, G. C., ... McGeehin, M. (2010). Postmortem blood cadmium, lead, and mercury concentrations: comparisons with regard to sampling location and reference ranges for living persons. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 34(3), 129-134.
This study's goal was to determine cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), total mercury (THg), and inorganic mercury (IHg) levels in human cadavers to compare measured levels with established reference ranges for living persons and to determine whether blood levels varied with time from death to sample collection or by body collection site. Subjects (n +AD0- 66) recruited from the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office in Atlanta, GA, were 20 years of age or older, had no penetrating trauma, no obvious source of environmental contamination of the vasculature, and had whole blood accessible from the femoral (F) site, the cardiac (C) site, or both. Geometric mean results were as follows: 2.59 microg/L F-Cd+ADs- 11.81 microg/L C-Cd+ADs- 1.03 microg/L F-THg+ADs- 2.01 microg/L C-THg+ADs- 0.29 microg/L F-IHg+ADs- 0.49 microg/L C-IHg+ADs- 1.78 microg/dL F-Pb+ADs- and 1.87 microg/dL C-Pb. Both F- and C-Cd levels as well as C-THg levels were significantly higher than reference values among living persons (C- and F-Cd, p +ADw- 0.0001 and C-THg, p +AD0- 0.0001, respectively). Based on regression modeling, as the postmortem interval increased, blood Cd levels increased (p +ADw- 0.006). Postmortem blood Cd concentrations were elevated compared to population values and varied with respect to sampling location and postmortem interval