Vila Nova da Telha, Portugal
Vila Nova da Telha, Portugal

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Marinho L.,Apartado | Almeida D.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Santos A.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Santos A.,University of Porto | And 2 more authors.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2012

Stature estimation is one of the four attributes of the biological profile obtained from human skeletal remains. The length of the long bones has been consistently used to estimate stature from regression equations, but these may be useless when dealing with fresh or decomposed mutilated remains. Until recently, there was no consistent assessment of the reliability of measurements of the sternum for stature estimation. The purpose of this paper is to test previously developed regression formulae for stature based on measurements of the dry sternum and to assess the reliability of measurements of the fresh sternum in estimating stature. The formulae developed by Menezes et al. and Singh et al. were applied to a sample of 5 known stature skeletons from the identified human skeletal collection curated at the National Museum of Natural History, in Lisbon, Portugal. Testing of these formulae showed that estimated stature confidence intervals do not allow discrimination between individuals with similar stature. The length of the fresh sternum was measured on a sample of 45 male individuals autopsied at the National Institute of Legal Medicine - North Delegation (Porto, Portugal). Cadaver length was regressed on sternum length and a simple linear regression formula was obtained. The regression model provided a 95% confidence interval of 13.32. cm and a correlation coefficient of only 0.329. Compared to other studies, regression formulae based on the length of the sternum provided considerably larger standard errors than that based on long bone lengths. These results suggest that the length of the sternum has limited forensic value and relatively low reliability in estimating stature from mutilated human skeletal remains, either skeletonized or fresh. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Medallo Muniz J.,Institute Medicina Legal Of Catalonia | Martin-Fumado C.,Institute Medicina Legal Of Catalonia | Nuno Vieira D.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Nuno Vieira D.,University of Coimbra
Medicina Clinica | Year: 2014

The problems involved in caring for individuals in custody, as well as deaths that occur during custody, are relevant aspects of legal and forensic medicine in terms of the possible criminal, civil and administrative responsibility of health professionals and/or public or private institutions that might hold individuals in custody and deprived of freedom. The rule of law should ensure that these cases comply with state law and international agreements and treaties related to human rights and the special treatment of individuals deprived of freedom in hospitals or detention centers. Of particular mention is the medical-forensic activity regarding deaths associated with the use of control holds and/or restraint during the detention of individuals by members of the armed forces or law enforcement or in healthcare centers by safety and healthcare personnel. In these cases, both the immediate healthcare treatment subsequent to the events and the medical-forensic study should be particularly careful. These situations, which are often high profile, cause social alarm and involve judicial actions that can result in especially severe liabilities. © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.


Barroso M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Delegacao Do Sul | Dias M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Delegacao Do Sul | Vieira D.N.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | LoPez-Rivadulla M.,Instituto Universitario Of Medicina Legal | Queiroz J.A.,University of Beira Interior
Biomedical Chromatography | Year: 2010

A simple and rapid method for the determination of methadone and its main metabolite EDDP in hair has been developed and validated. The analytes were completely extracted from the matrix after a short alkaline incubation, and the extracts were further cleaned up by solid-phase extraction using mixed-mode cartridges. Linearity was obtained from 0.1 (lower limit of quantitation, LLOQ) to 30-ng/mg for both compounds, with correlation coefficients higher than 0.99. Intra- and interday precision and accuracy were in conformity with internationally accepted guidelines for bioanalytical method validation, and the cleanup procedure presented mean extraction efficiencies higher than 90% for both analytes. This high efficiency greatly contributed to the low limits of quantitation achieved, and therefore this method can be successfully applied in the determination of methadone and EDDP in hair samples in clinical and forensic scenarios where these compounds are involved. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Barroso M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Delegacao Do Sul | Costa S.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Delegacao Do Sul | Dias M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Delegacao Do Sul | Vieira D.N.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2010

A simple and sensitive procedure, using p-tolylpiperazine (pTP) as internal standard (IS), has been developed and validated for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of 1-(3-trifuoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP), 1-(3-chlorophenyl)piperazine (mCPP) and 1-(4-methoxyphenyl)piperazine (MeOPP) in hair. Drug extraction was performed by incubation with 1M sodium hydroxide at 50°C for 40min, and the extracts were cleaned up using mixed-mode solid-phase extraction. The analytes were derivatized with N-methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide with 5% trimethylchlorosilane and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in the selected ion monitoring mode. The method was linear from 0.05 (lower limit of quantitation) to 4ngmg-1, with correlation coefficients higher than 0.99 for all the compounds. Intra- and interday precision and accuracy were in conformity with the criteria normally accepted in bioanalytical method validation, and the sample cleanup step presented a mean efficiency higher than 90% for all the analytes. Due to its simplicity and speed, this method can be successfully applied in the screening and quantitation of these compounds in hair samples, and is suitable for application in forensic toxicology routine analysis. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Barroso M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Delegacao Do Sul | Dias M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal Delegacao Do Sul | Vieira D.N.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Lopez-Rivadulla M.,Instituto Universitario Of Medicina Legal | Queiroz J.A.,University of Beira Interior
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

A simple procedure has been developed and validated for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of several opiates (morphine, 6-acetylmorphine, codeine, 6-acetylcodeine) and tramadol in hair. The analytes were extracted from within the matrix via an overnight incubation with methanol at 65 °C, and afterwards the samples were cleaned up by mixed-mode solid-phase extraction. The extracts were derivatized with N-methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide with 5% trimethylchlorosilane and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in the selected ion monitoring mode. The method was linear from 0.05 (lower limit of quantitation) to 50 ng/mg (40 ng/mg for tramadol), with correlation coefficients higher than 0.99 for all compounds, accomplishing the cut-off values proposed by the Society of Hair Testing for the detection of these substances in hair (0.2 ng/mg). Intra- and interday precision and trueness were in conformity with the criteria normally accepted in bioanalytical method validation, and the sample cleanup step presented a mean efficiency higher than 90% for all analytes. Furthermore, using these incubation conditions, 6-acetylmorphine did not significantly hydrolyze to morphine. For these reasons, and because of its simplicity, the proposed method can be successfully applied in the determination of these compounds in hair samples, and is suitable for application in routine analysis with forensic purposes. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Raposo R.,University of Beira Interior | Barroso M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Fonseca S.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Costa S.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | And 3 more authors.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2010

A simple, rapid and sensitive method is described for the determination of omethoate, dimethoate, diazinon, chlorpyrifos, parathion-ethyl, chlorfenvinphos, quinalphos and azinphos-ethyl in postmortem whole blood samples. The analytes and internal standard (ethion) were isolated from the matrix by solid-phase extraction, and were analysed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in the selected ion monitoring mode. The method has shown to be selective after analysis of postmortem samples of 40 different origins. Calibration curves were established between 0.05 (0.1 for omethoate) and 25mg/mL, and the values obtained for intra-and interday precision and accuracy were within the criteria usually accepted for bioanalytical method validation. Lower limits of quantitation were 50 ng/mL for all compounds, except for omethoate (100 ng/mL); the limits of identification of the method were 25 ng/mL for all analytes, except for omethoate, for which 50 ng/mL was obtained. Absolute recovery was determined at three concentration levels, and ranged from 31 to 108%. The proposed method is simple and fast, and can be routinely applied in the determination of these compounds in postmortem whole blood samples within the scope of forensic toxicology. In addition, mass spectrometry has demonstrated to be a powerful and indispensable tool for the unequivocal identification of the analytes, since the acceptance criteria were accomplished even at very low levels, thus allowing obtaining forensically valid and sound results. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Barroso M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Gallardo E.,University of Beira Interior | Vieira D.N.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Lopez-Rivadulla M.,Instituto Universitario Of Medicina Legal | Queiroz J.A.,University of Beira Interior
Bioanalysis | Year: 2011

Hair has been used for years in the assessment and documentation of human exposure to drugs, as it presents characteristics that make it extremely valuable for this purpose, namely the fact that sample collection is performed in a noninvasive manner, under close supervision, the possibility of collecting a specimen reflecting a similar timeline in the case of claims or suspicion of a leak in the chain of custody, and the increased window of detection for the drugs. For these reasons, testing for drugs in hair provides unique and useful information in several fields of toxicology, from which the most prominent is the possibility of studying individual drug use histories by means of segmental analysis. This paper will review the unique role of hair as a complementary sample in documenting human exposure to drugs in the fields of clinical and forensic toxicology and workplace drug testing. © 2011 Future Science Ltd.


Oppolzer D.,University of Beira Interior | Moreno I.,University of Beira Interior | da Fonseca B.,University of Beira Interior | Passarinha L.,University of Beira Interior | And 4 more authors.
Biomedical Chromatography | Year: 2013

The goal of this work was to develop and validate an analytical method for the detection and quantification of the biogenic amines serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE), using microextraction in packed syringe (MEPS) and liquid chromatography coupled to electrochemical detection (HPLC-ED) in urine. The method was validated according to internationally accepted guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration. Linearity was established between 50 and 1000 ng/mL for 5-HT and between 5 and 1000 ng/mL for DA and NE, with determination coefficients (R2) >0.99 for all compounds. The limits of quantification and detection were respectively 50 and 20 ng/mL for 5-HT, and 5 and 2 ng/mL for DA and NE. Within- and between-run precision ranged from 0.84 to 9.41%, while accuracy ranged from 0.79 to 12.76% for all compounds. The intermediate precision and accuracy were 1.50-8.36 and 0.54-13.51%, respectively. The method was found suitable for clinical routine analysis of the studied compounds, using a sample volume of 0.5 mL. This is the first study employing a commercially available MEPS column for the simultaneous detection and quantification of 5-HT, DA and NE in urine by coulometric detection. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Costa S.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Barroso M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Castanera A.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Dias M.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

The application of the design of experiments to optimize method development in the field of forensic toxicology using the urinary morphine 3-glucuronide acid hydrolysis as an example is described. Morphine and its trideuterated analogue (used as an internal standard) were extracted from urine samples by liquid-liquid extraction (ToxiTubes® A) and derivatized by silylation. Chromatographic analysis was done by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in the selected ion monitoring mode. Using the peak area ratio (morphine-to-internal standard) as the response, we investigated the independent variables that could influence the acid hydrolysis, including temperature (range 70-130 °C), acid volume (range 500-1,000 μL) and time (range 15-90 min). A 23 full factorial design for the screening and a response surface methodology, including a central composite design for optimization, were applied. The factors which influenced the response to a greater extent were temperature and its interaction both with time and acid volume. By application of a multiple regression analysis to the experimental data, a second-order polynomial equation was obtained. The optimal predicted conditions for morphine 3-glucuronide acid hydrolysis were 115 °C, 38 min and 500 μL for temperature, time and acid volume, respectively. Using design of experiments, instead of the one factor at a time approach, we achieved the optimum combination of all factor values, and this allowed the best results to be obtained, simultaneously optimizing resources. In addition, time and money can be saved, since other approaches are in general more time-consuming and laborious, and do not take into account the interactions between factors. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Santos C.,Instituto Nacional Of Medicina Legal | Santos C.,University of Coimbra | Ferreira M.,University of Coimbra | Alves F.C.,University of Coimbra | And 2 more authors.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2011

Age estimation of living individuals has become one of the big issues of forensic anthropology. The increase of children and adolescents with no valid proof of their chronological age is a legal concern to many countries, especially in situations of illegal immigration, sub adult delinquency and juvenile work. For this purpose, the use of radiological methods for evaluation of skeletal maturation is particularly useful.In this study we compare the two of the most common methods applied in age estimation by hand/wrist radiographs: the Radiographic Atlas of Skeletal Development of the Hand and Wrist made by Greulich and Pyle (GP), 1959,and the Sempé method developed for computer - Maturos 4.0 (MT) program.These methods were applied to a sample of 230 radiographs of the hand and wrist from Portuguese children and adolescents of known sex age and age, aged between 12 and 20 years, who performed medical examination at the University of Coimbra Hospitals during 2005.The methods achieved different performances, depending on the age group. Between 12 and 15 years the bone age with the MT program is closer to the chronological age, whereas in older ages the GP Atlas method is more trustworthy.At the ages with legal consequences in Portugal (16 and 18 years) the GP Atlas method is most accurate, namely to decide whether an individual is younger or older than 18 years. Around 16 years old, although there are doubts in relation to the accuracy of both methods, GP Atlas seems to perform better. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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