Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Legal Med. 2000;114(1-2):1-5.

A new diquat derivative appropriate for colourimetric measurements of biological materials in the presence of paraquat.

Author information

  • 1Department of Legal Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 3600 Handa, Hamamatsu 431-3192, Japan.


A new colourimetric method is described for the quantification of diquat using a yellow-coloured derivative produced by heating diquat in alkaline solution at 80 degrees C. The absorption maximum of the yellow derivative is 420 nm and the molar absorption coefficient is 2.76 x 10(4) (0.15 in 1 microgram diquat/ml with 1 cm light path). The absorption at 420 nm shows a linear concentration dependence in the range 0.1-10 micrograms/ml and fading of the colour is about 5% after 1 h. Under the same conditions, paraquat does not produce any coloured products. The concentration of diquat in the solution containing both diquat and paraquat can be determined by the absorption of diquat derivative at 420 nm without interference from paraquat. By adding sodium dithionite to the solution the concentration of paraquat can be determined by the absorption of paraquat radicals at 600 nm without interference from diquat, because the yellow derivative does not react with dithionite. This yellow diquat derivative can be extracted completely with cyclohexanol by saturating the solution with Na2SO4. The absorption maximum in cyclohexanol shifts to 440 nm with the same molar absorbance and the same half-band width as in water. Fading of the colour is less than 5% after 24 h in cyclohexanol. Perchloric acid (3%) and trichloroacetic acid (4.5%) which are often used for deproteinization of tissue homogenates, do not inhibit production of the coloured derivative at pH 13.5 or extraction of the derivative with cyclohexanol. This method is suitable for a quick determination of small amounts of diquat in tissues, since the extraction with cyclohexanol not only concentrates the derivative rapidly but also quite efficiently eliminates the coloured substances in tissue homogenates. The detection limit of diquat is 0.02 microgram/ml for blood and 0.05 microgram/g for liver when 1 ml or 1 g is used for analysis. In three human cases of fatal intoxication, both paraquat and diquat were quantified using 50 microliters of serum. In non-toxic dosing of diquat to rats for 14 days, the diquat level was highest in the spleen followed by the kidneys.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk