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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2008 Nov 15;875(2):471-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2008.09.034. Epub 2008 Oct 2.

Simultaneous determination of five toxic alkaloids in body fluids by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, China. qiu.peih@yahoo.com.cn


A novel analytical method was developed and validated for the rapid and simultaneous analysis of five toxic alkaloids: Brucine, Strychnine, Ephedrine, Aconitine and Colchicine, in blood and urine using high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry in the multiple reaction monitoring (HPLC-ESI-MRM) mode. The linear range was 0.05-50.0 ng mL(-1) for Brucine, 0.1-50.0 ng mL(-1) for Strychnine and Ephedrine, 0.01-10.0 ng mL(-1) for Aconitine and Colchicine. The limits of quantification for Brucine, Strychnine, Ephedrine, Aconitine and Colchicine were found to be 0.03, 0.05, 0.20, 0.05, 0.01 ng mL(-1), respectively. The average extraction recoveries in urine ranged from 96.0 to 114.0% and in whole blood were 94.0 to 113.0%. The intra-day and inter-day RSDs were less than 8.3 and 10.6%, respectively. The five alkaloids could be well separated within 7 min in a single run. The established method should be suitable for the determination of trace alkaloids in body fluids.

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