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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2005 Dec 27;829(1-2):56-68. Epub 2005 Nov 10.

Detection, quantification and confirmation of anabolic steroids in equine plasma by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry.

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University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center Campus, 382 West Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA.


Anabolic androgenic steroids are related to the male sex hormones and are abused in equine sports. In an effort to deter the abuse of anabolic steroids, a sensitive LC-MS/MS method was developed for detection, quantification and confirmation of eight major anabolic steroids (testosterone, normethandrolone, nandrolone, boldenone, methandrostenolone, tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), trenbolone, and stanozolol) in equine plasma. Formation of solvent adduct ions of the analytes was observed under electrospray ionization (ESI) conditions, and desolvation of the solvent adduct ions by source collision-induced decomposition (CID) increased the abundance of the [M+H]+ ions as well as the multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) signals. ESI (+) and APCI (+) were compared with respect to sensitivity for the analytes and the former provided better sensitivity. The matrix effect on ion suppression or enhancement was evaluated, and was negligible. Confirmation of the analytes was performed using criteria of three ion transitions and LC retention time of each analyte. The limit of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) was 25 pg/mL. The limit of confirmation (LOC) was 25 pg/mL for boldenone; 50 pg/mL for normethandrolone, nandrolone, and methandrostenolone; and 100 pg/mL for testosterone, THG, trenbolone, and stanozolol. The analytes were evaluated for stability and found to be stable in plasma for 24h at room temperature, 13 days at 4 degrees C, and 34 days at -20 and -70 degrees C. The method was successfully applied to analyses of equine plasma samples for pharmacokinetics study. This method is sensitive and useful for detection, quantification and confirmation of these anabolic steroids in equine plasma.

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