Evaluation of Formic Acid Concentrations in Postmortem Blood Samples Using HS-GC-MS System

Destanoğlu O. , Ateş İ.

Turkiye Klinikleri Journal of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences, cilt.16, sa.3, ss.155-163, 2019 (Diğer Kurumların Hakemli Dergileri)

  • Cilt numarası: 16 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Dergi Adı: Turkiye Klinikleri Journal of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.155-163


Objective: In this study, we aimed to evaluate the results of formic acid concentrations in positive and control groups of postmortem blood samples obtained from autopsies conducted in the Council of Forensic Medicine, Turkey, between January 2016 and June 2018. Material and Methods: Formic acid concentration was measured as methylformate in the blood samples by performing headspace-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS) system. Results: A wide calibration range (0.1-150 mg dL-1, r2= 0.999, internal standard: acetonitrile) was employed for determination of formic acid. LOD and LOQ values were found to be 0.003 mg dL-1 and 0.011 mg dL- 1, respectively. A positive blood sample was spiked and recovery was found to be 102%. After the analyses, the following results were obtained: In positive blood samples (N= 91), formic acid concentration range was found to be 37-141 mg dL-1, while control samples (N= 50) had a range 0.3 - 5.6 mg dL-1. In addition, no correlation was found between methanol and formic acid concentrations in the bloods whereas there was a very high correlation between blood and vitreous humor methanol concentrations, as expected. Conclusion: The most common reason for the deaths from methanol-induced metabolic acidosis is consumption of illicit alcoholic beverages produced in clandestine places and containing high concentration of methanol. In this paper, we present not only HS-GC-MS method for determination of formic acid in postmortem blood samples, but also the key points for evaluation of its results as well.