Determination of several synthetic cathinones and an amphetamine-like compound in urine by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. Method validation and application to real cases.J Sep Sci. 2019 Apr; 42(8):1577-1584.JS
Most routine practices for drugs-of-abuse testing do not include screening procedures for new psychoactive substances, despite their increasing diffusion, preventing clear knowledge of the real consumption of these drugs in the populations. To make up for this shortcoming, a gas chromatography with mass spectrometry method was developed for the simultaneous determination of 18 synthetic cathinones and one amphetamine-like compound in human urine. The sample preparation was based on liquid-liquid extraction under alkaline condition followed by derivatization with trifluoroacetic anhydride. The separation of the 19 analytes was achieved in less than 10 min. The whole methodology was validated according to national and international guidelines. Selectivity, linearity range, limit of detection and limit of quantitation, precision and accuracy were evaluated. For all the analytes, the calibration curve was linear in the 100-1000 ng/mL concentration range. The limits of detection ranged from 10 to 30 ng/mL and limits of quantitation from 30 to 100 ng/mL. Precisions were in the ranges 0.1-10.4%, and 1.0-12.1% for low (100 ng/mL) and high (1000 ng/mL) concentration, respectively. The accuracy, expressed as bias% was within ±20% for all the analytes. The present method was successfully applied to urine samples originating from autopsies, drug abuse/withdrawal controls, clinical investigations, roadside controls, driving re-licensing, and workplace testing.