Simultaneous determination of urinary androgen glucuronides by high temperature gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with selected ion monitoring

Steroids. 2000 Jan;65(1):54-9. doi: 10.1016/s0039-128x(99)00082-3.


An efficient procedure is described for the simultaneous determination of 9 androgen glucuronides including androsterone, etiocholanolone, 11-ketoandrosterone, 11-ketoetiocholanolone, 11beta-hydroxyandrosterone, 11beta-hydroxyetiocholanolone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in 3-glucuronide form and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone in 17-glucuronide form from urine specimens. The method involves solid-phase extraction of the urinary steroids using Serdolit PAD-1 resin, with subsequent conversion to methyl ester-trimethylsilyl (Me-TMS) ether derivatives for the direct analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) using high temperature MXT-1 (Silcosteel-treated stainless steel) capillary column. Upon split injection of Me-TMS steroids at 330 degrees C into the MXT-1 capillary column initially maintained at 300 degrees C then programmed to 322 degrees C at 2 degrees C/min, each androgen glucuronide was well separated in excellent peak shape. The characteristic ions at m/z 217 constituting the base peaks in the electron-impact (20 eV) mass spectra for most steroids permitted their sensitive detection by GC-MS with selected-ion monitoring (SIM), whereas base peak ion at m/z 271 was used for the SIM of dehydroepiandrosterone-3-glucuronide. The detection limits for SIM of most of the steroids were 15 pg except for the 3-glucuronides of 11-ketoandrosterone and 11-ketoetiocholanolone, which could be detected down to 20 pg. The SIM responses were linear with correlation coefficients varying from 0.981 to 0.993 in the concentration range of 20 to 3000 ng/ml for the androgens studied. When applied to urine samples, the present method allowed rapid screening for the 7 androgens in their glucuro-conjugated forms simultaneously with good overall precision and accuracy within the normal concentration ranges of 15.1 to 3124.6 ng/ml.

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / urine*
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Glucuronides / urine*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Androgens
  • Glucuronides