U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Identification of Anhydroecgonine Ethyl Ester in the Urine of a Drug Overdose Victim

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 50 Issue: 6 Dated: November 2005 Pages: 1481-1485
Date Published
November 2005
5 pages
Toxicological evaluation of postmortem urine collected from a 41-year-old deceased White male detected anhydroecgonine ethyl ester (Ethylecgonidine, AEEE), a transesterification product of smoked cocaine abused in conjunction with ethanol.
Descriptions of the materials and methods used in the procedure address synthetic procedures, instrumentation, the extraction procedure, and standard curve generation. A solid phase extraction (SPE) method was used to extract cocaine, AEEE, and related metabolites from the deceased's urine. SPE on a 1 ml urine sample from the decedent, followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) detected AEEE. Other metabolites identified by GC-MS included cocaine, cocaethylene, and anhydroecgonine methyl ester (AEME). To determine whether some or all of the AEEE was artifactually produced in the heated GC injector port, an alternative liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method was developed. LC/MS following SPE found at least 50 ng/ml of AEEE in the extract. The mass fragmentation of AEEE detected in the urine was compared to spectra of authentic, synthesized compound. AEEE is thus a potential additional forensic marker for the co-abuse of smoked cocaine and ethanol. LC-MS provides the basis for a useful analytical method in forensic cases involving suspected free-base cocaine/ethanol use. 36 references

Date Published: November 1, 2005