Accuracy and precision of flowing afterglow mass spectrometry for the determination of the deuterium abundance in the headspace of aqueous liquids and exhaled breath water

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2001;15(11):867-72. doi: 10.1002/rcm.310.


We have assessed the accuracy and precision of our flowing afterglow mass spectrometric method (FA-MS) for absolute measurements of deuterium abundance in water using standardised tap water/D(2)O mixtures within the D/H range from 155 ppm (local tap water) to 1104 ppm, prepared by the gravimetric method. The results of this study show that a precision and accuracy of 1% can be achieved for the deuterium abundance in water samples. This is quite adequate for the main application, which is the rapid, non-invasive measurement of total body water by deuterium analysis of breath water vapour using the D(2)O dilution method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Water / chemistry*
  • Deuterium / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Respiration*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Deuterium