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J Chromatogr A. 2004 Apr 2;1032(1-2):93-5.

High-performance liquid chromatographic determination of arecoline in human saliva.

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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department, Westmead Centre for Oral Health, C24 Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, Wentworthville, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia.


Arecoline (methyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-1-methyl nicotinate) is an alkaloid found in the areca catechu nut which is a major component of the 'betel quid' chewed by a large proporation of the population in India, South Asia and the South Pacific islands. It is commonly associated with the development of oral leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis and oral cancer. We have developed a new ion-pairing reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method for the determination of arecoline in saliva, using arecaidine (1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-1-methylnicotinic acid) as an internal standard. The optimal wavelength was established using UV absorbance scans. It was showed that 215 nm is the optimal wavelength to maximise the signal in detecting arecoline in the mobile phase. Arecoline was extracted from saliva with hexane-isoamyl alcohol (1%) and reconstituted with mobile phase for HPLC analysis. The developed method is an easy and reliable method of determining arecoline concentrations in saliva. Sensitivity, specificity, precision, accuracy and reproducibility of the method were demonstrated to be satisfactory for measuring the arecoline level.

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