Journal Article

Determination of γ-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in Biological Specimens by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Fiona J. Couper and Barry K. Logan

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 24, issue 1, pages 1-7
Published in print January 2000 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online January 2000 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/24.1.1
Determination of γ-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in Biological Specimens by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

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A simple liquid-liquid extraction procedure for the analysis of γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) in biological fluids without conversion to its lactone, γ-hutyrolactone, is described. Following derivatization to its di-TMS derivative, GHB was detected using gas chromatography-electron impact mass spectrometry. Diethylene glycol was used as the internal standard. The limit of quantitation in 1 mL of blood was 1 mg/L, and a linear response was observed over the concentration range 1 to 100 mg/L. Coefficients of variation for both intra-assay precision and interassay reproducibility ranged between 3.9 and 12.0%. GHB was detected in the blood of a sexual assault victim (3.2 mg/L), in the blood of two driving (DUI) cases (33 and 34 mg/L), and in the blood and urine of two nonfatal GHB-overdose cases (blood 130 and 221 mg/L; urine 1.6 and 2.2 g/L). The observed clinical symptoms ranged from confusion, disorientation, vomiting, and nystagmus to ataxia, sinus bradycardia, unconsciousness, and apnea.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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