Journal Article

Quantitation of Opioids in Whole Blood by Electron Impact-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Nicholas B. Tiscione, Xiaoqin Shan, Ilene Alford and Dustin Tate Yeatman

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 35, issue 2, pages 99-107
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online March 2011 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Quantitation of Opioids in Whole Blood by Electron Impact-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

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Opioids are frequently encountered in Forensic Toxicology casework. A PubMed literature search was conducted to find a method using electron impact-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to examine whole blood specimens. A previously published method was identified, and an updated version was provided by the State of North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. This procedure was used as a starting point for development and validation of a refined procedure to be used in the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Forensic Toxicology laboratory for routine analysis of antemortem forensic toxicology case samples. Materials and instrumentation common to most forensic toxicology laboratories were utilized while obtaining detection limits from 1 to 10 ng/mL and quantitation limits of 2.5 to 10 ng/mL using 1 mL of whole blood. Target compounds were chosen based on applicability to the method as well as availability and common use in the United States and include dihydrocodeine, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, 6-monoacetylmorphine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. Each analyte demonstrated two zero-order linear ranges (r2 > 0.990) over the concentrations evaluated (from 2.5 to 500 ng/mL). The coefficient of variation of replicate analyses was less than 12%. Quantitative accuracy was within ± 27% at 2.5 ng/mL, ± 11% at 10 ng/mL, and ± 8% at 50 ng/mL. The validated method provides a more sensitive procedure for the quantitation of common opioids in blood using standard laboratory equipment and a small amount of sample.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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