Journal Article

Development of Analytical Methods for the Detection of Metaraminol in the Horse*

Dennis W. Hill, Walter G. Hyde, Albert J. Kind, Dave Greulich and Steve Hipkins

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 24, issue 4, pages 281-288
Published in print May 2000 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online May 2000 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Development of Analytical Methods for the Detection of Metaraminol in the Horse*

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Aramine® (metaraminol bitartrate) has been found in the possession of horse trainers and veterinarians who have been investigated for possible inappropriate drug administration to racing horses. Metaraminol (3-hydroxyphenylisopropanolamine) is a sympathomimetic amine that directly and indirectly affects adrenergic receptors, with alpha effects being predominant. Because it has the potential to affect the performance of a racing horse, its use is prohibited. In the present study, methods for the detection of metaraminol were developed. Metaraminol was found to be extracted with poor recovery (< 50%) from aqueous solutions by routine basic extraction or cation exchange/reversed-phase solid-phase extraction techniques. However, an extractive acetylation method gave good (> 90%) recovery of metaraminol from aqueous samples. Sequential urine samples collected from horses administered metaraminol intramuscularly at 0.02, 0.10, and 0.23 mg/kg were extracted by the developed extractive acetylation procedure and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in fuji-scan and selected ion monitoring modes. Norpbenylephrine was used as an internal standard for quantitative analysis. The maximum concentration of metaraminol occurred between 1 and 2 h postadministration. Metaraminol was detected in the 0.23 mg/kg administration urine for 24 h postadministration. Metaraminol was detected for the 0.10 and 0.02 mg/kg doses for approximately 8 h postadministration. No apparent biotransformation products were observed in a reaction mixture of metaraminol and horse liver microsomal reaction mixture. Comparison of gas chromatograms of the extracts of the postadministration urine samples with those of the preadministration samples failed to reveal any exogenous compound other than metaraminol.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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