Use of a quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometer in metabolite identification and bioanalysis

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2003;17(11):1137-45. doi: 10.1002/rcm.1037.


A new type of quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometer, Q TRAP trade mark LC/MS/MS system (Q TRAP trade mark ), was evaluated for its performance in two studies: firstly, the in vitro metabolism of gemfibrozil in human liver microsomes, and, secondly, the quantification of propranolol in rat plasma. With the built-in information-dependent-acquisition (IDA) software, the instrument utilizes full scan MS in the ion trap mode and/or constant neutral loss scans as survey scans to trigger product ion scan (MS(2)) and MS(3) experiments to obtain structural information of drug metabolites 'on-the-fly'. Using this approach, five metabolites of gemfibrozil were detected in a single injection. This instrument combines some of the unique features of a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, such as constant neutral loss scan, precursor ion scan and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM), together with the capability of a three-dimensional ion trap. Therefore, it becomes a powerful instrument for metabolite identification. The fast duty cycle in the ion trap mode allows the use of full product ion scan for quantification. For the quantification of propranolol, both MRM mode and full product ion scan in the ion trap mode were employed. Similar sensitivity, reproducibility and linearity values were established using these two approaches. The use of the product ion scan mode for quantification provided a convenient tool in selecting transitions for improving selectivity during the method development stage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gemfibrozil / chemistry
  • Gemfibrozil / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Propranolol / blood*
  • Rats
  • Reference Standards


  • Propranolol
  • Gemfibrozil