Screening and confirmation criteria for hormone residue analysis using liquid chromatography accurate mass time-of-flight, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance and orbitrap mass spectrometry techniques

Anal Chim Acta. 2007 Mar 14;586(1-2):122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2006.08.055. Epub 2006 Sep 3.


An emerging trend is recognised in hormone and veterinary drug residue analysis from liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) based screening and confirmation towards accurate mass alternatives such as LC coupled with time-of-flight (TOF), Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) or Fourier transform orbitrap (FT Orbitrap) MS. In this study, mass resolution and accuracy are discussed for LC/MS screening and confirmation of targeted analytes and for the identification of unknowns using the anabolic steroid stanozolol and the designer beta-agonist "Clenbuterol-R" as model substances. It is shown theoretically and experimentally that mass accuracy criteria without proper mass resolution criteria yield false compliant (false negative) results, both in MS screening and MS/MS confirmation of stanozolol. On the other hand, previous medium resolution accurate mass TOFMS/MS data of the designer beta-agonist were fully confirmed by high resolution FT Orbitrap MS(n) experiments. A discussion is initiated through a proposal for additional criteria for the use of accurate mass LC/MS technologies, to be implemented in Commission Decision 2002/657/EC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / methods*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Clenbuterol / chemistry
  • Cyclotrons
  • Drug Residues / analysis*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Ions*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods
  • Stanozolol / analysis
  • Steroids / analysis*


  • Ions
  • Steroids
  • Stanozolol
  • Clenbuterol