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J Mass Spectrom. 2003 Apr;38(4):357-72.

Liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure ionization-mass spectrometry in drug metabolism studies.

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Viikki Drug Discovery Technology Center, Department of Pharmacy, P.O. Box 56, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.


The study of the metabolic fate of drugs is an essential and important part of the drug development process. The analysis of metabolites is a challenging task and several different analytical methods have been used in these studies. However, after the introduction of the atmospheric pressure ionization (API) technique, electrospray and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) has become an important and widely used method in the analysis of metabolites owing to its superior specificity, sensitivity and efficiency. In this paper the feasibility of LC/API-MS techniques in the identification, structure characterization and quantitation of drug metabolites is reviewed. Sample preparation, LC techniques, isotope labeling, suitability of different MS techniques, such as tandem mass spectrometry, and high-resolution MS in drug metabolite analysis, are summarized and discussed. Automation of data acquisition and interpretation, special techniques and possible future trends are also the topics of the review.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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