A fast liquid chromatographic/mass spectrometric screening method for the simultaneous detection of synthetic glucocorticoids, some stimulants, anti-oestrogen drugs and synthetic anabolic steroids

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2006;20(22):3465-76. doi: 10.1002/rcm.2729.


A fast liquid chromatographic/mass spectrometric (LC/MS/MS) screening method for the detection, in urine, of synthetic glucocorticoids, stimulants (formoterol, modafinil and mesocarb), anti-oestrogens (finasteride, exemestane, anastrozole, letrozole and formestane) and synthetic anabolic steroids (stanozolol, gestrinone and tetrahydrogestrinone) is described. All these drugs (and/or their urinary metabolites) can be simultaneously extracted by a single liquid/liquid extraction step, at alkaline pH, after enzymatic hydrolysis with beta-glucuronidase, and assayed in 7 min by LC/MS/MS using electrospray ionization in positive ion mode and multiple reaction monitoring as the acquisition mode. All compounds show good reproducibility of both the retention times (CV% <2%) and the relative abundances (CV% <10%). The limits of detection for the anti-oestrogens, glucocorticoids and steroids are in the range of 1-30 ng/mL, and for the stimulants are in the range of 100-200 ng/mL, thus satisfying the minimum required performance limits of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / urine*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / urine*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid*
  • Doping in Sports / methods
  • Estrogen Antagonists / urine*
  • Glucocorticoids / urine*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Glucocorticoids