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Qualitative Identification of Fentanyl Analogs and Other Opioids in Postmortem Cases by UHPLC-Ion Trap-MSn.
J Anal Toxicol. 2017 07 01; 41(6):484-492.JA

Abstract

Since 2013, the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department has experienced an increase in the number of opioid-related deaths. The majority of cases coincided with the introduction of fentanyl into the local heroin supply. From 2014 to 2015, Miami-Dade County experienced a near 600% increase in fentanyl-related deaths, followed by an additional 200% increase in 2016. In 2015, two novel fentanyl analogs were identified in medical examiner cases: beta-hydroxythiofentanyl and acetyl fentanyl. In 2016, four additional fentanyl analogs emerged: para-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl, butyryl fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl and carfentanil, as well as the synthetic opioid U-47700. In order to address this epidemic, a method was developed and validated to identify 44 opioid-related and analgesic compounds in postmortem samples using ultra high performance liquid chromatography ion trap mass spectrometry with MSn capabilities. The limit of detection for all compounds ranged from 0.1 to 5 ng/mL, with a majority having MS3 spectral fragmentation. Blood, urine, liver or brain specimens from ~500 postmortem cases were submitted for analysis based on case history and/or initial screening results. Of those cases, 375 were positive for illicit fentanyl and/or one or more fentanyl analogs. Due to the potency of these compounds, they were almost always included in the cause of death. Worth emphasizing and extremely alarming is the detection of carfentanil in 134 cases, 104 of which were initially missed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. By incorporating this sensitive, highly specific, and evolving screening procedure into the workflow, the toxicology laboratory continues to effectively assist the medical examiners in determining the cause and manner of death of decedents in Miami-Dade County.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Email: eshoff@miamidade.govMiami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department, 1851 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, USA.Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department, 1851 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, USA.Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department, 1851 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, USA.Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department, 1851 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28633314

Citation

Shoff, Elisa N., et al. "Qualitative Identification of Fentanyl Analogs and Other Opioids in Postmortem Cases By UHPLC-Ion Trap-MSn." Journal of Analytical Toxicology, vol. 41, no. 6, 2017, pp. 484-492.
Shoff EN, Zaney ME, Kahl JH, et al. Qualitative Identification of Fentanyl Analogs and Other Opioids in Postmortem Cases by UHPLC-Ion Trap-MSn. J Anal Toxicol. 2017;41(6):484-492.
Shoff, E. N., Zaney, M. E., Kahl, J. H., Hime, G. W., & Boland, D. M. (2017). Qualitative Identification of Fentanyl Analogs and Other Opioids in Postmortem Cases by UHPLC-Ion Trap-MSn. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 41(6), 484-492. https://doi.org/10.1093/jat/bkx041
Shoff EN, et al. Qualitative Identification of Fentanyl Analogs and Other Opioids in Postmortem Cases By UHPLC-Ion Trap-MSn. J Anal Toxicol. 2017 07 1;41(6):484-492. PubMed PMID: 28633314.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Qualitative Identification of Fentanyl Analogs and Other Opioids in Postmortem Cases by UHPLC-Ion Trap-MSn. AU - Shoff,Elisa N, AU - Zaney,M Elizabeth, AU - Kahl,Joseph H, AU - Hime,George W, AU - Boland,Diane M, PY - 2017/02/10/received PY - 2017/05/26/accepted PY - 2017/6/22/pubmed PY - 2017/12/21/medline PY - 2017/6/22/entrez SP - 484 EP - 492 JF - Journal of analytical toxicology JO - J Anal Toxicol VL - 41 IS - 6 N2 - Since 2013, the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department has experienced an increase in the number of opioid-related deaths. The majority of cases coincided with the introduction of fentanyl into the local heroin supply. From 2014 to 2015, Miami-Dade County experienced a near 600% increase in fentanyl-related deaths, followed by an additional 200% increase in 2016. In 2015, two novel fentanyl analogs were identified in medical examiner cases: beta-hydroxythiofentanyl and acetyl fentanyl. In 2016, four additional fentanyl analogs emerged: para-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl, butyryl fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl and carfentanil, as well as the synthetic opioid U-47700. In order to address this epidemic, a method was developed and validated to identify 44 opioid-related and analgesic compounds in postmortem samples using ultra high performance liquid chromatography ion trap mass spectrometry with MSn capabilities. The limit of detection for all compounds ranged from 0.1 to 5 ng/mL, with a majority having MS3 spectral fragmentation. Blood, urine, liver or brain specimens from ~500 postmortem cases were submitted for analysis based on case history and/or initial screening results. Of those cases, 375 were positive for illicit fentanyl and/or one or more fentanyl analogs. Due to the potency of these compounds, they were almost always included in the cause of death. Worth emphasizing and extremely alarming is the detection of carfentanil in 134 cases, 104 of which were initially missed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. By incorporating this sensitive, highly specific, and evolving screening procedure into the workflow, the toxicology laboratory continues to effectively assist the medical examiners in determining the cause and manner of death of decedents in Miami-Dade County. SN - 1945-2403 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28633314/Qualitative_Identification_of_Fentanyl_Analogs_and_Other_Opioids_in_Postmortem_Cases_by_UHPLC_Ion_Trap_MSn_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/jat/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/jat/bkx041 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -