Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Mass Spectrom Rev. 2000 Jul-Aug;19(4):165-214.

Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in forensic toxicology.

Author information

1
Laboratorium voor Toxicologie, Universiteit Gent, Belgium.

Abstract

Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry has evolved from a topic of mainly research interest into a routinely usable tool in various application fields. With the advent of new ionization approaches, especially atmospheric pressure, the technique has established itself firmly in many areas of research. Although many applications prove that LC-MS is a valuable complementary analytical tool to GC-MS and has the potential to largely extend the application field of mass spectrometry to hitherto "MS-phobic" molecules, we must recognize that the use of LC-MS in forensic toxicology remains relatively rare. This rarity is all the more surprising because forensic toxicologists find themselves often confronted with the daunting task of actually searching for evidence materials on a scientific basis without any indication of the direction in which to search. Through the years, mass spectrometry, mainly in the GC-MS form, has gained a leading role in the way such quandaries are tackled. The advent of robust, bioanalytically compatible combinations of liquid chromatographic separation with mass spectrometric detection really opens new perspectives in terms of mass spectrometric identification of difficult molecules (e.g., polar metabolites) or biopolymers with toxicological relevance, high throughput, and versatility. Of course, analytical toxicologists are generally mass spectrometry users rather than mass spectrometrists, and this difference certainly explains the slow start of LC-MS in this field. Nevertheless, some valuable applications have been published, and it seems that the introduction of the more universal atmospheric pressure ionization interfaces really has boosted interests. This review presents an overview of what has been realized in forensic toxicological LC-MS. After a short introduction into LC-MS interfacing operational characteristics (or limitations), it covers applications that range from illicit drugs to often abused prescription medicines and some natural poisons. As such, we hope it can act as an appetizer to those involved in forensic toxicology but still hesitating to invest in LC-MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center