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Int J Legal Med. 2012 Jul;126(4):519-24. doi: 10.1007/s00414-011-0599-9. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

GC/MS determination of ibotenic acid and muscimol in the urine of patients intoxicated with Amanita pantherina.

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  • 1Military Institute of Forensic Medicine, Central Military Hospital Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.


Ibotenic acid and muscimol are substances which mostly participate in psychotropic properties of Amanita pantherina and Amanita muscaria. They are rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and readily excreted in urine. The poisoning with A. pantherina is in the majority of cases accidental because it can be easily mistaken for the edible species (Amanita rubescens, Amanita spissa and Macrolepiota procera). Intoxication with A. muscaria is mostly intentional for recreational purposes. Prognosis of the poisoning is generally good; lethal cases are rare. Mushroom poisoning is often proved by microscopic examination of spores in the stomach or intestinal content. Authors of this article introduce an instrumental method of proving A. pantherina or A. muscaria poisoning. The article describes the isolation of ibotenic acid and muscimol from urine, the derivatization step and the determination of these compounds by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Isolation of these alkaloids from urine was performed on a strong cation exchanger (Dowex® 50W X8), and the elution and derivatization of the alkaloids were made in one step with ethyl chloroformate in aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide with the addition of ethanol and pyridine. Cycloserine was used as internal standard. By this method, concentrations of ibotenic acid and muscimol in the urine of four persons intoxicated with A. pantherina were determined. In this study, mass spectra of derivatized ibotenic acid and muscimol are shown, and validation of the method is described.

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