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Agilent Technologies announces a method for determining opiates and metabolites in blood using electrospray LC/MS

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced a method developed by the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Forensic Science, for determining opiates and metabolites in blood using electrospray LC/MS. Opiates are a widely abused class of drugs that can be obtained both illicitly and by prescription.

The well established GC/MS method for the analysis of opiates requires derivatization that adds variables to the analysis and can introduce aggressive derivatizing reagents into the analytical system. However, opiates and their metabolites are basic compounds that show excellent sensitivity in electrospray mass spectrometry, and can be analyzed by that technique without derivatization. The same solid-phase extraction (SPE) developed for the LC/MS analysis of plasma for clinical studies can be used for the analysis of whole blood in forensic toxicology samples. The levels of opiates found in forensic blood samples are normally high enough that the scanning mode of data acquisition can be used instead of selected ion monitoring (SIM). This allows other drugs isolated using the same sample preparation to be qualitatively identified in the same run that quantitates the opiates. The electrospray LC/MS analysis using scan mode gives accuracy and precision comparable to or better than those obtained using SIM in GC/MS.

Three forensic medical examiner cases are discussed, in which the confirmation and quantitation of opiates in blood samples using the Agilent LC/MSD and this method provided rapid and accurate results.

The forensic application is clearly described in the application note "Determination of Opiates and Metabolites in Blood Using Electrospray LC/MS," publication number 5988-4805EN.

Quelle: Agilent Technologies

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