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J Anal Toxicol. 2013 Nov-Dec;37(9):642-51. doi: 10.1093/jat/bkt083. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Screening and confirmation of 62 drugs of abuse and metabolites in urine by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

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1School of Pharmacy, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Section 1, Jen-Ai Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan.


An ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography--quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS) method for the screening and confirmation of 62 drugs of abuse and their metabolites in urine was developed in this study. The most commonly abused drugs, including amphetamines, opioids, cocaine, benzodiazepines (BZDs) and barbiturates, and many other new and emerging abused drugs, were selected as the analytes for this study. Urine samples were diluted 5-fold with deionized water before analysis. Using a superficially porous micro-particulate column and an acetic acid-based mobile phase, 54 basic and 8 acidic analytes could be detected within 15 and 12 min in positive and negative ionization modes, respectively. The MS collision energies for the 62 analytes were optimized, and their respective fragmentation patterns were constructed in the in-house library for confirmatory analysis. The coefficients of variation of the intra- and inter-day precision of the analyte responses all were <17.39%. All analytes, except barbital, showed matrix effects of 77-121%. The limits of detection of the 62 analytes were between 2.8 and 187.5 ng/mL, which were lower than their respective cut-off concentrations (20-500 ng/mL). Ten urine samples from patients undergoing methadone treatment were analyzed by the developed UHPLC-QTOF-MS method, and the results were compared with the immunoassay method.

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