Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Using Tetrahydrozoline


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Henry A. Spiller, M.S.
Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center
PO Box 35070
Louisville, KY 40232
E-mail: Henry.spiller@nortonhealthcare.org


Abstract:  Drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) has been defined as the use of a chemical agent to facilitate a sexual assault. We report two cases of the use of tetrahydrozoline for DFSA. We believe this is the first report with urinary quantification of tetrahydrozoline levels postassault. Blood and urine were obtained c. 20 h postexposure in two cases of reported DFSA. Tetrahydrozoline was not detected in blood but was identified in urine in both victims. After initial identification in the urine using the 2010 update to the AAFS mass spectrometry database library, tetrahydrozoline was quantified at 114 and 150 ng/mL, respectively, using GC/MS. Two unique clinical features reported in these cases were intermittent periods of consciousness and postexposure vomiting. Use of GC/MS was successful in identifying tetrahydrozoline in the 100 ng/mL range up to 20 h postexposure. For victims with late presentation, urine may be a better sample for evaluation for tetrahydrozoline.