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A comprehensive gas chromatography mass spectrometry drug screening procedure

A comprehensive gas chromatography mass spectrometry drug screening procedure

Journal of Analytical Toxicology 2(2): 33-38

A comprehensive, rapid and sensitive drug screening procedure employing GC/MS [gas chromatography/mass spectrometry] is presented. The method involves a series of 4 urine [human] spot tests and a solid-buffer extraction technique to prepare acid and basic extracts for GC/MS. The solid-buffer extraction technique uses a 5:1 urine-organic solvent ratio for extraction. After evaporation of the solvent, the residue is reconstituted with 50 .mu.l of methanol and 2-3 .mu.l injected into a Finnigan Model 3000D GC/MS. Mass spectra are recorded on a light beam oscillographic recorder, and the spectra are coded manually. Identification of unknown spectra is accomplished by a manual library search. Recovery of drugs spiked to urine was in the range of 78-100%, and sensitivity of the method ranged from 0.2-1.0 .mu.g/ml of urine for those drugs studied. The procedure was used for over 2000 drug screens at Rhode Island Hospital [USA]. Some interesting drug ingestion cases are discussed, and the applicability of GC/MS as a routine drug-screening method available on a 24 h basis is demonstrated.

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