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Simultaneous detection of amphetamine-like drugs with headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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Clinical Biochemistry Department, Drug Abuse Section, Istituto Superiore di Sanitá, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy.


A headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS) procedure for the simultaneous detection of methylen-dioxyamphetamine (MDA), methylen-dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methylen-dioxyethamphetamine (MDE) and N-methyl-1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-butanamine (MBDB) in hair has been developed. This method is suitable for the separation of primary and secondary amines, is reproducible, is not time consuming, requires small quantities of sample and does not require any derivatization. It provides sufficient sensitivity and specificity, with limits of detection (LOD) and limits of quantitation (LOQ) for each substance of <0.7 and 1.90 ng/mg, respectively. Intra- and inter-day precision were within 2 and 10%, respectively. This method is suitable for routine clinical, epidemiological and forensic purposes and can be used for the preliminary screening of many other substances (amphetamine, methamphetamine, ketamine, ephedrine, nicotine, phencyclidine, methadone) in hair and other biological matrices such as saliva, urine and blood. We also describe the first application of this HS-SPME-GC-MS procedure to the analysis of hair and saliva samples from young people attending a disco in the Rome area. All positive hair samples were confirmed by the gas chromatography-mass-mass (GC-MS(2)) technique in positive chemical ionization (PCI) mode. Some examples of the use of the method in detecting different drugs are reported.

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