Distribution of Aconitum alkaloids in body fluids and tissues in a suicidal case of aconite ingestion

Kitae Ito, Satoshi Tanaka, Masato Funayama, Michinao Mizugaki

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52 Citations (Scopus)


A case involving a suicidal ingestion of Aconitum tubers is presented. A 40-year-old woman in Hokkaido, Japan ingested ground aconite and died of aconite intoxication abouot 4 h after ingestion. The Aconitum alkaloids were quantitated using gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring from extracts of the body fluids and organs. The blood and urine concentrations of jesaconitine, the main alkaloid of the aconite in this case, were 69.1 ng/mL and 237.8 ng/mL, respectively. Higher values of the alkaloid were demonstrated in the kidneys, the liver, and in the bile rather than other organs or serum, suggesting the alkaloids were eliminated by the liver and kidneys. In the gastrointestinal tract, the highest value of jesaconitine (471.3 ng/g) was in the ileal contents. These findings show that Aconitum alkaloids were found in the liver and kidneys in much higher concentrations than in serum and suggest that they were eliminated not only via urine but also in feces. Feces may be useful to detect Aconitum alkaloid if other biological samples are not available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-353
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Analytical Toxicology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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