Rapid and direct analysis of γ-hydroxybutyric acid in urine by capillary electrophoresis–electrospray ionization ion-trap mass spectrometry

Rossella Gottardo, Federica Bortolotti, Maristella Trettene, Giorgia De Paoli, Franco Tagliaro

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    29 Citations (Scopus)


    The present work was aimed at the development of a capillary electrophoretic analysis of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) using electrospray ion trap mass spectrometry to achieve the direct and unequivocal detection of this analyte in human urine. Optimized capillary electrophoretic conditions were: injection, 20 s at 0.5 psi (1 psi = 6894.76 Pa); buffer electrolyte, 12.5 mM ammonium formate adjusted to pH 8.35 with diethylamine; fused silica capillary: 100 cm x 50 mum i.d.; separation voltage, 25 kV (forward polarity) +0.5 psi; room temperature. Electrospray and mass spectrometric conditions were: drying gas and nebulizing gas (nitrogen) at flow rate 31/min, temperature 250 degreesC, nebulizer pressure: 10 psi; sheath liquid solution: methanol-water (90:10) containing 0.1% ammonia delivered at 3 mul/min; spray voltage 3.5 kV. Mass spetrometric detection was carried out in the selected ion monitoring mode of negative molecular ions at 103 m/z for GHB and 115 m/z for maleic acid (I.S.). Under these conditions the baseline separation of GHB and the I.S. was obtained. The selectivity of the analysis allowed for direct injection of unextracted urine, previously diluted 1:4 with water. Linearity was assessed in the GHB concentration range from 80 to 1280 mug/ml in urine. Analytical sensitivity (as limit of detection) resulted about 5 mug/ml in water and 20 mug/ml in original urine. Analytical precision was fairly acceptable with R.S.D. values lower than 5% for migration times and 18% for quantitation in real samples, in both intra day and day-to-day experiments. On these grounds, the developed method can be adopted for rapid identification of acute intoxications from GHB in humans. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)207-211
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Chromatography. A
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    Event17th International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Capillary Electrophoresis, (HPCE) 2004 - Salzburg, Austria
    Duration: 8 Feb 200412 Feb 2004


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