Simple and rapid screening procedure for 143 new psychoactive substances by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.Drug Test Anal. 2016 Jul; 8(7):652-67.DT
In recent years, many new psychoactive substances (NPS) from several drug classes have appeared on the drug market. These substances, also known as 'legal highs', belong to different chemical classes. Despite the increasing number of NPS, there are few comprehensive screening methods for their detection in biological specimens. In this context, the purpose of this study was to develop a fast and simple liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) screening procedure for NPS in blood. The elaborated method allows the simultaneous screening of 143 compounds from different groups (number of compounds): cathinones (36), phenethylamines (26), tryptamines (18), piperazines (9), piperidines (2), synthetic cannabinoids (34), arylalkylamines (7), arylcyclohexylamines (3), aminoindanes (2), and other drugs (6). Blood samples (0.2 mL) were precipitated with acetonitrile (0.6 mL). The separation was achieved with gradient mobile phase of 0.1% formic acid in acetonitrile and 0.1% formic acid in water in 14 min. Detection of all compounds was based on multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) transitions. The total number of transitions monitored in dynamic mode was 432. The whole procedure was rapid and simple. The limits of detection (LODs) estimated for 104 compounds were in the range 0.01-3.09 ng/mL. The extraction recoveries determined for 32 compounds were from 1.8 to 133%. The procedure was successfully applied to the analysis of forensic blood samples in routine casework. The developed method should have wide applicability for rapid screening of new drugs of abuse in forensic or clinical samples. The procedure can be easily expanded for more substances. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.