Alcohol in breath and blood: a selected ion flow tube mass spectrometric study.Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2001; 15(6):413-7.RC
In this paper we compare the amounts of ethanol in breath and in blood after ingestion of whisky using analysis by selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). Blood ethanol concentrations were also obtained using standard hospital forensic procedures for blood alcohol analyses. We demonstrate the quantitative nature of SIFT-MS analysis by correlating the observed alcohol content of the headspace above 5-mL amounts of venous blood and aqueous solution to which known trace amounts of alcohol have been added. This procedure provides a Henry's Law coefficient for ethanol in aqueous solution at 298 +/- 3 K of 209 +/- 7 mol/kg*bar. We also demonstrate that measurement of the ethanol concentration in the alveolar portion of a single breath using the SIFT-MS technique gives an accurate measure of blood alcohol and could obviate the need for blood samples in forensic processing. The storage performance of breath samples in Mylar bags with a volume greater than 1 L has been shown to maintain the mixture integrity for ethanol but not for some other species.