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A Fatal Case of Suspected Anaphylaxis with Cefoperazone and Sulbactam: LC-MS Analysis

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Cefoperazone and sublactam are prescribed in combination and used in the treatment of moderate to severe bacterial infections. Serious anaphylaxis is a rare side effect. This report describes a fatal case of suspected anaphylaxis after intravenous administration of a combination of the two drugs. Heart blood was analyzed for cefoperazone by protein precipitation with acetonitrile and by liquid-liquid precipitation for sublactam after protein precipitation with aqueous acetonitrile, followed by tandem mass spectrometry in the product ion scan mode for identification and by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry in the selected ion monitoring mode for quantitation. Calibration curves for cefoperazone and sublactam were linear over the range 0.07 to 1.93 and 0.046 to 0.914 μg/ml respectively. The decedent's blood concentrations of cefoperazone and sublactam were 0.368 and 0.143 μg/ml respectively. As these concentrations were below concentrations reported after single dosing studies and below those considered to be minimally inhibitory, death was presumed to have been caused by hypersensitivity and not an overdose. In conclusion, this procedure is useful for detecting and quantitating cefoperazone and sublactam in postmortem blood and may be useful in the evaluation of anaphylaxis.
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Keywords: cefoperazone; forensic science; forensic toxicology; liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; sulbactam

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: First Chemistry Section, National Research Institute of Police Science, 6-3-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan.

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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