Journal Article

Selection and Optimization of Hydrolysis Conditions for the Quantification of Urinary Metabolites of MDMA

Stephane O. Pirnay, Tsadik T. Abraham, Ross H. Lowe and Marilyn A. Huestis

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 30, issue 8, pages 563-569
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Selection and Optimization of Hydrolysis Conditions for the Quantification of Urinary Metabolites of MDMA

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Recovery of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) urinary metabolites requires optimization of the hydrolysis of 4-hydroxy-3-methyoxymethamphetamine (HMMA), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyamphetamine (HMA), and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphelamine (MDA) conjugates prior to chromatographic analysis. Acidic and enzymatic hydrolysis with β-glucuronidase from Escherichia coli and Helix pomatia were evaluated. Acid hydrolysis yielded 40.0% and 39.3% higher HMA recovery compared to E. coli and H. pomatia hydrolysis, respectively (SE = 9.8 and 11.4%). E. coli β-glucuronidase hydrolysis MDA recovery was 17.1% and 26.5% greater than acid hydrolysis and H. pomatia β-glucuronidase recovery (SE = 3.3 and 6.1%), respectively. HMMA recovery by acid hydrolysis was 336.1% and 159.8% greater than E. coil and H. pomatia β-glucuronidase (SE = 72.8 and 31.6%), respectively. The effects of temperature, time, and acid amount on metabolite recovery were also evaluated. HMA and HMMA acid hydrolysis recoveries were improved at 100°C and above. Effective hydrolysis could be conducted in a dry block heater, GC oven, or autoclave at temperatures from 100 to 140°C. Optimal hydrolysis conditions for the measurement of MDMA metabolite conjugates were addition of 100 µL of hydrochloric acid to 1 mL urine and incubation at 120°C in a GC oven for 40 min. Therefore, based on HMMA, HMA, and MDA recoveries, time efficiency, availability of instrumentation, and cost, acid hydrolysis was preferred to enzyme hydrolysis.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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