Send to

Choose Destination
Anal Chim Acta. 2010 Jul 12;673(1):60-72. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2010.05.020. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

Comprehensive comparison of liquid chromatography selectivity as provided by two types of liquid chromatography detectors (high resolution mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry): "where is the crossover point?".

Author information

Official Food Control Authority, Fehrenstrasse 15, 8032 Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


The selectivity of mass traces obtained by monitoring liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) and liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was compared. A number of blank extracts (fish, pork kidney, pork liver and honey) were separated by ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC). Detected were some 100 dummy transitions respectively dummy exact masses (traces). These dummy masses were the product of a random generator. The range of the permitted masses corresponded to those which are typical for analytes (e.g. veterinary drugs). The large number of monitored dummy traces ensured that endogenous compounds present in the matrix extract, produced a significant number of detectable chromatographic peaks. All obtained chromatographic peaks were integrated and standardized. Standardisation was done by dividing these absolute peak areas by the average response of a set of 7 different veterinary drugs. This permitted a direct comparison between the LC-HRMS and LC-MS/MS data. The data indicated that the selectivity of LC-HRMS exceeds LC-MS/MS, if high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) data is recorded with a resolution of 50,000 full width at half maximum (FWHM) and a corresponding mass window. This conclusion was further supported by experimental data (MS/MS based trace analysis), where a false positive finding was observed. An endogenous matrix compound present in honey matrix behaved like a banned nitroimidazole drug. This included identical retention time and two MRM traces, producing an MRM ratio between them, which perfectly matched the ratio observed in the external standard. HRMS measurement clearly resolved the interfering matrix compound and unmasked the false positive MS/MS finding.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center