Studies on the metabolism and toxicological detection of the designer drug 4-methylthioamphetamine (4-MTA) in human urine using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2005 Sep 25; 824(1-2):123-31.JC
4-Methylthioamphetamine (4-MTA) is a scheduled designer drug that has appeared on the illicit drug market and led to several non-fatal or even fatal poisonings. Only few data are available on its metabolism. The first aim of this study was to identify the 4-MTA metabolites in human urine and then to study whether the authors' STA procedure is suitable for screening for and identification of 4-MTA and/or its metabolites in urine. After enzymatic cleavage of conjugates, solid-phase extraction (SPE) and acetylation the following metabolites could be identified by full-scan gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS): deamino-oxo 4-MTA, deamino-hydroxy 4-MTA, ring hydroxy and beta-hydroxy 4-MTA. 4-MTA sulfoxide could be identified as possible artifact. In urine samples after enzymatic hydrolysis, acidic extraction, and methylation, 4-methylthiobenzoic acid could be identified. The authors' systematical toxicological analysis (STA) procedure using full-scan GC-MS after acid hydrolysis, liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and acetylation allowed detection of 4-MTA as target analyte plus all the above-mentioned metabolites with the exception of 4-methylthiobenzoic acid. The extraction efficiency of 4-MTA was approximately 70% and the limit of detection (LOD) was 30 ng/ml (S/N 3).