Determination of potentially hallucinogenic N-dimethylated indoleamines in human urine by HPLC/ESI-MS-MS

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2001;61(7):547-56. doi: 10.1080/003655101753218319.


A new method for the determination of N,N-dimethyl-5-hydroxytryptamine (bufotenine), N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT)*, 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeODMT), and N-methyltryptamine (NMT) was developed using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). Identification of the analytes is based on liquid chromatographic retention times of analytes and two fragment ions produced by a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. Quantification is based on electrospray ionization (ESI), and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) was also utilized for getting better selectivity. The analytes and internal standard were separated from the urine matrix by solid-phase extraction (SPE). The method was applied for the determination of these compounds in urine samples of patients from surgical, medical and psychiatric wards. Of the dimethylated amines, only bufotenine was found in significant amounts (up to 34 microg/L). In keeping with our earlier results, the bufotenine excretion of psychiatric patients was found to be higher than that of the somatic patients. Method, procedure, considerations, statistical evaluations and urine sample spectra are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bufotenin / urine*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Hallucinogens / urine*
  • Humans
  • Methoxydimethyltryptamines / urine*
  • N,N-Dimethyltryptamine / urine*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Tryptamines / urine*


  • Hallucinogens
  • Methoxydimethyltryptamines
  • Tryptamines
  • Bufotenin
  • N-methyltryptamine
  • N,N-Dimethyltryptamine