Specimens

Detection of amphetamines in blood samples is accomplished utilizing immunoassays designed specifically for that matrix (32) or by modification of assays designed for a urine matrix. One such modification involves zinc sulfate protein precipitation from whole blood followed by immunoassay analysis of the supernatant (33). In moderately to heavily decomposed bodies, large amounts of the putrefactive amines phenethylamine and tyramine produced by saprogenic bacteria may cause false-positive results. Techniques used to reduce or eliminate this interference include collecting blood in sodium fluoride and deproteinization using acetone or sulfosalicylic acid (34,35). In one study, addition of the putrefactive bases ^-phenethylamine and tyramine confirmed the manufacturer's claim of less than 2% cross-reactivity with their immunoassay, but urine stored with bladder tissue exhibited increasing concentrations of apparent amphetamine reactivity indicating other complicating factors such as possible production of increased concentrations of these or other interfering compounds (36).

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