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Ther Drug Monit. 1983;5(1):11-37.

Application of new technology for the measurement of tricyclic antidepressants using capillary gas chromatography with a fused silica DB5 column and nitrogen phosphorus detection.


National performance on an external quality assurance program indicates that analytical techniques used for measurement of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are grossly inadequate. For example, in the gas-liquid chromatography underivatized methods, 28 labs reported a range of values for amitriptyline of 29-630 ng/ml for a serum sample that was spiked with 112 ng/ml. In view of this poor performance, a review of currently published gas chromatography (GC) methods and the presentation of a new method developed in our lab are described herein. The purpose of this study is to provide information for those who wish to develop or improve the service of providing TCA blood-level determinations. In our literature survey many poorly designed methods with insufficient documentation were found. Methods that demonstrate the best overall performance for each mode of detection are highlighted. The new method presented applies new technology to the current problems encountered in accurate TCA quantitation. A cost-effective analytical technique was developed, utilizing capillary GC with a fused silica DB5 column coupled to a nitrogen phosphorus detector. Problems relating to mode of injection and how they were resolved are addressed. Method performance is evaluated in terms of sensitivity, precision, recovery, accuracy, and clinical utility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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