Journal Article

Identification of Urinary Benzodiazepines and their Metabolites: Comparison of Automated HPLC and GC-MS after Immunoassay Screening of Clinical Specimens

Jimmie L. Valentine, Rosalyn Middleton and Carolyn Sparks

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 20, issue 6, pages 416-424
Published in print October 1996 | ISSN: 0146-4760
e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Identification of Urinary Benzodiazepines and their Metabolites: Comparison of Automated HPLC and GC-MS after Immunoassay Screening of Clinical Specimens

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Medical Toxicology
  • Toxicology (Non-medical)


Show Summary Details


An automated high-performance liquid chromatographic method, benzodiazepines by REMEDi HS, was used to analyze benzodiazepines and their metabolites after β-glucuronidase hydrolysis of 1-mL urine specimens from the following: 924 clinic and hospital patients whose specimens had previously been found to be presumptively positive using either EMIT® or Triage® immunoassay methodologies and 128 individuals whose specimens had screened negative by EMIT d.a.u.™. REMEDi analyses did not correlate with the immunoassay results in 136 of the positive and three of the negative urine specimens. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) confirmatory analyses were performed on these discordant specimens using 3 mL β-glucuronidasehydrolyzed urine followed by extraction with chloroform-isopropanol (9:1) and derivatizatlon with N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide. Two benzodiazepines, flunitrazepam and clonazepam, and their 7-amino metaholites were analyzed without prior derivatization. The analyses established 87% concordance between REMEDi and GC-MS versus 13% concordance with immunoassay for the subset. GC-MS analysis of these 142 specimens demonstrated two reasons for the nonconcurrence between REMEDi and EMIT: EMIT had given either false-negative or false-positive results and EMIT had given a positive result even though the determined metabolites were below the 200-ng/mL cutoff for the immunoassay and the 80-ng/mL cutoff for REMEDi. A total of 23 specimens were found to contain only Iorazepam by REMEDi and GC-MS, 15 of which had been screened by Triage. A reevaluation of these 23 specimens by EMIT d.a.u, demonstrated that 11 were positive. This finding was in contrast to previous reports that EMIT will not detect Iorazepam glucuronide in urine. An unexpected finding was the REMEDi identification and subsequent GC-MS confirmation of 7-aminoflunitrazepam, a urinary metabolite of flunitrazepam that is not available in the United States and that represented illicit use by four patients. A distinct advantage of REMEDi proved to be its capability in identifying demoxepam, a major metabolite of chlordiazepoxide; GC-MS analysis could not detect this metabolite because of its thermal decomposition to nordiazepam. To further evaluate the specificity of REMEDi, we conducted GC-MS analyses in a random fashion on 55 additional nondiscordant urine

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.