Article Title

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxy-amphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine in human hair and hair sections


In this paper, the authors describe a sensitive method for simultaneous quantitation of amphetamine (AM), methamphetamine (MA), 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in human hair by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Hair samples are initially cut into 0.5-cm sections, washed with methanol, and digested for 1 hr at 80°C in 2 N NaOH and deuterated internal standards. The resulting solutions are processed with a liquid-liquid extraction procedure and further derivatized with heptafluorobutyric anhydride (HFBA) before undergoing GC/MS analysis. The overall protocol achieves the following results when applied to the analysis of 50 mg drug-free hair specimens fortified with 2-40 ng/mg amphetamines: recovery: 77.45-86.86%; inter-day and intra-day precision ranges: 0.55-7.73% and 0.76-4.79%, respectively; linearity: r2 > 0.997; detection limits: 0.05 ng/mg for AM, MA, and MDMA and 0.1 ng/mg for MDA; and quantitation limits: 0.1 ng/mg for AM, MA, and MDMA and 0.2 ng/mg for MDA. Data derived from our analysis of hair samples collected from 30 self-reported methamphetamine abusers range from 1.39 to 15.41 (mean ± S.D., 5.21 ± 3.25) ng/mg for amphetamine and 12.58 to 173.28 (mean ± S.D., 56.10 ± 36.85) ng/mg for methamphetamine. This method has also been utilized successfully to evaluate the deposition pattern of drugs in head hairs collected from six female methamphetamine abusers staying at a rehabilitation facility. We conclude that this relatively simple protocol can be used for routine and reliable identification and quantitation of AM, MA, MDA, and MDMA in hair.

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