Program Note: Join us tonight on AC360º at 10 P.M. ET to hear Dr. Sanjay Gupta speak more on Michael Jackson's on-going medical examination.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/06/29/jackson.toxicology.test/art.jackson.toxicology.jpg caption="For toxicology screenings, blood samples are drawn from the leg and heart, as drugs can circulate around the body."]
Unlike television crime shows in which machines can instantly spit out results, toxicology testing to determine what drugs are in a person's body can be a long and painstaking process.
The Los Angeles County coroner's office estimates that toxicology tests on the body of Michael Jackson could take six to eight weeks. The results are needed to determine the singer's cause of death, a spokesman for the coroner said. The singer's autopsy last week was inconclusive, although officials said there were no indications of external trauma or foul play.
Identifying drugs in the human body requires a lengthy sequence of tests and confirmations that can take weeks and even months, forensic experts said.
Questions about the possible role of prescription medications in Jackson's death have swirled since Thursday, when the singer was found unconscious. Edward Chernoff, attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray, who tried to revive Jackson at the singer's rented home, said the doctor was not aware of any prescription drug abuse by Jackson.
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