Analysis of 4-MEC in biological and non-biological material--three case reports.Forensic Sci Int. 2013 May 10; 228(1-3):e11-5.FS
4-Methylethcathinone (4-MEC) is a designer drug that is structurally similar to mephedrone. This substance was identified in many drug seizures analyzed in the Institute of Forensic Research (IFR). This paper describes three of the first cases in which both powders and biological material were secured at the same time and delivered to the IFR for toxicological analysis. The first case concerned a man who died in a car crash. The second case describes a death associated with multiple-drug intake, including 4-MEC. In this case, however, the death was the result of an overdose of para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA). In the third case, the man was arrested for possession of illicit drugs. Analysis of powders was carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high pressure liquid chromatography with diode array detection (HPLC-DAD). The purity of 4-MEC found in powder samples was 51% and 78%. Analyses of biological material were carried out using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). 4-MEC was found in blood samples at concentrations of 46, 56 and 152 ng/mL.