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Determination of Nitrite in Whole Blood by High‐Performance Liquid Chromatography with Electrochemical Detection and a Case of Nitrite Poisoning

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Although nitrite is widely used in meat processing, it is a major toxicity hazard to children and is responsible for the blue‐baby syndrome. A simple and effective method to determine nitrite in whole blood has been devised using ion chromatography with suppressed conductivity detection. The blood sample was deproteinized by adding acetonitrile and purified with mini‐cartridges to remove hydrophobic compounds, chloride ions, and metal ions. An aliquot of the filtrate was injected onto the ion chromatography. The retention time for nitrite was 13.8 min and the detection limit of nitrite in whole blood was 0.4 μmol/L. The calibration curve was linear (r 2 = 0.9999) over the concentration working range. The blood nitrite concentration of a victim who attempted suicide by ingesting sodium nitrite powder was determined using the present method. The basal levels for nitrite in human blood was determined with 7.1 ± 0.9 μmol/L (n = 12).
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Keywords: blood; electrochemical detection; forensic science; forensic toxicology; intoxication; ion chromatography; nitrite

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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