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J Mass Spectrom. 2008 Oct;43(10):1344-52. doi: 10.1002/jms.1410.

A fully validated isotope dilution HPLC-MS/MS method for the simultaneous determination of succinylcholine and succinylmonocholine in serum and urine samples.

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Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bonn, Stiftsplatz 12, 53111 Bonn, Germany.


A high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS) method for the simultaneous detection of succinylcholine (SUX) and its metabolite succinylmonocholine (SMC) in serum and urine is presented. For internal standardization using isotope dilution, the deuterated compounds SUX-d(18) and SMC-d(3) were employed. Full validation was performed according to international guidelines. Solid-phase extraction (SPE) of acidified samples was accomplished using Strata-X polymeric reversed phase cartridges together with heptafluorobutyric acid (HFBA) as ion-pairing reagent. Separation was achieved within 13 min on a Phenomenex Synergi Hydro RP C18 column (4 microm, 150 x 2 mm) using a gradient of 5 mM ammonium formate buffer pH 3.5 and acetonitrile.To ensure the method's applicability in forensic as well as clinical toxicology, the specific demands of both research fields were taken into account, and the method was thus validated for a low and high concentration range. For both serum and urine as sample matrix, the validation revealed good intraday and interday precisions, consistently ranging below 15% for the lowest and below 10% for elevated concentrations. Accuracy was likewise good and never exceeded 10%. Extraction recovery was excellent, ranging between 88.1 and 103.9% for SUX and SMC in both tested matrices. Matrix effects were significant, the otherwise optimized extraction and detection methods, however, allowed for a very satisfactory sensitivity of the described method: For serum, the limits of detection and quantitation were determined to be 1.9 and 6.0 ng/ml for SUX, as well as 2.5 and 8.6 ng/ml for SMC, respectively; for urine, the corresponding values were established to be 1.4 and 4.0 ng/ml (SUX), as well as 1.5 and 4.9 ng/ml (SMC).The presented method was successfully applied to authentic samples of two forensic cases investigated in the institute of forensic medicine in Bonn, allowing the diagnosis of SUX intoxications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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