Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology


Pharmacology and Toxicology

First Advisor

David R. DeFanti


The capabilities and the limitations involved in applying commercially prepared Radioimmunoassay (RIA) Kits, for testosterone (T) and estrogen (E) , for the purpose of identifying the sexual origin of a bloodstain were examined. A total of forty whole blood samples were obtained from equal numbers of young healthy male and female volunteers. Bloodstains were prepared by absorbing these blood samples onto 2 X 2 cm squares of white cotton linen. Two separate studies were conducted using these stains. Both studies examined the fractional recovery of T and E when extracted with diethyl ether, the ability of the RIA method to detect T and E present in the extract at three bloodstain ages (2, 30, and 60 days after preparation) and whether a T:E ratio could be utilized as a basis for discriminating between male and female bloodstain samples. The difference between the studies lies in the prior knowledge of the sex of each individual blood sample. In the first study the sex of each blood sample was known, (open study), whereas in the second study the individual sex was not known but the number of each sex was known (single-blind study). A cross-reactivity study was performed to determine the direct interference of several commonly used synthetic steroids with the RIAs. Significant amounts of T and E were detected in extracts of most bloodstains. Both the open and single-blind studies showed that there is a significant difference between male and female T:E ratios 3nd that this difference tends to diminish as the bloodstain age increases. The single blind study also showed this method to be at least 70% accurate when the bloodstain is 2 days old. Cross-reactivity studies showed only one of the synthetic steroids tested reacted significantly with the estradiol antiserum. All other tests showed no significant cross-reactivity of the synthetic steroids tested with either the estradiol or testosterone antiseras. RIA of testosterone and estrogens in bloodstains is of practical value in determining the sexual origin of a bloodstain.



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