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Analyst. 2000 Jun;125(6):1179-83.

Fast urinary screening for paracetamol using on-line microwave assisted hydrolysis and spectrophotometric detection.

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Analytical Chemistry Division, Faculty of Sciences, University of Córdoba, Spain.


A fully automated urinary screening system for paracetamol and its metabolites is proposed. The method comprises on-line acid microwave assisted hydrolysis of the drug to p-aminophenol followed by reaction with o-cresol in alkaline medium. The indophenol blue dye formed can be continuously monitored at 620 nm. The detection limit achieved, 0.1 microgram ml-1, allows a high dilution of the samples, thus reducing potential interferences from the sample matrix (mainly protein degradation during urine hydrolysis). The proposed screening system also possesses an adequate selectivity, as the major interferent, epinephrine, is tolerated at concentrations higher than those that could be found in the positive urine samples. The reproducibility, expressed as relative standard deviation, was 3.0% and the sample frequency 20 h-1. The reliability of the method was established at five concentrations (between 0.5 and 4 times the detection limit). Finally, it was applied to the screening of several human urine samples. The results obtained were compared with those provided by batch acid hydrolysis, and were similar in all instances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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