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Ther Drug Monit. 2011 Dec;33(6):757-65. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e318239a41a.

An enzymatic method to determine γ-hydroxybutyric acid in serum and urine.

Author information

  • 1Bühlmann Laboratories AG, Schoenenbuch, Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) has become one of the most dangerous illicit drugs of abuse today. It is used as a recreational and date rape drug because of its depressant effect on the central nervous system, which may cause euphoria, amnesia, respiratory arrest, and coma. There is an urgent need for a simple, easy-to-use assay for GHB determination in urine and blood. In this article, a rapid enzymatic assay adapted to clinical chemistry analyzers for the detection of GHB is presented.

METHODS:

The described GHB enzymatic assay is based on a recombinant GHB dehydrogenase. The full validation of the assay was performed on a Konelab 30 analyzer (Thermo Fisher Scientific).

RESULTS:

The analytical sensitivity was <1.5 mg/L, whereas the functional sensitivity was 4.5 mg/L in serum and 2.8 mg/L in urine. The total imprecision coefficient of variation (CV) was <9.8% in serum and <7.9% in urine. The within-run imprecision showed a CV of <3.8% in serum and <4.6% in urine. The assay was linear within the range 5-250 mg/L. Mean recoveries were 109% in serum and 105% in urine. No cross-reactivity was observed for tested GHB analogues and precursors. Comparison of GHB-positive samples showed an excellent correlation with ion chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and liquid chromatography associated to tandem mass spectrometry. Except for ethanol, no substantial interference from serum constituents and some drugs was observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

This automated GHB assay is fully quantitative and allows the accurate measurement of GHB in serum and urine. It can be used as a rapid screening assay for the determination of GHB in intoxicated or overdosed patients.

PMID:
22105594
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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