Use of isotope ratio mass spectrometry to detect doping with oral testosterone undecanoate: inter-individual variability of 13C/12C ratio

Steroids. 2006 May;71(5):364-70. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2005.11.004. Epub 2006 Jan 24.


The metabolic effect of multiple oral testosterone undecanoate (TU) doses over 4 weeks was assessed in seven voluntary men. The protocol was designed to detect accumulation of the substance by choosing the appropriate spot urines collections time and to study the urinary clearance of the substance after weeks of treatment. Urines were analysed by a new GC/C/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) method to establish the delta(13)C-values of testosterone metabolites (androsterone and etiocholanolone) together with an endogenous reference compound (16(5alpha)-androsten-3alpha-ol). The significant differences in inter-individual metabolism following TU intake was illustrated by large variations in delta(13)C-values of both T metabolites (maximum Deltadelta(13)C-values = 5.5 per thousand), as well as by very stable longitudinal T/E profiles and carbon isotopic ratios in the first hours following administration. According to T/E ratios and delta(13)C-values, the washout period after 80 mg TU intake was less than 48 h for all subjects and no accumulation phenomenon was observed upon chronic oral administration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Substance Abuse Detection / methods*
  • Testosterone / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Testosterone / metabolism
  • Testosterone / urine
  • Time Factors


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • testosterone glucuronate
  • Testosterone
  • testosterone undecanoate