Selected ion monitoring method for determination of nicotine, cotinine and deuterium-labeled analogs: absence of an isotope effect in the clearance of (S)-nicotine-3',3'-d2 in humans

Biol Mass Spectrom. 1991 May;20(5):247-52. doi: 10.1002/bms.1200200503.


A method for simultaneous determination of nicotine, its metabolite cotinine, and the stable isotope-labeled analogs nicotine-3',3'-d2 and cotinine-4',4'-d2 in human plasma has been developed. The method utilizes capillary column gas chromatography with detection by electron impact mass spectrometry and selected ion monitoring. Sensitivity is adequate for determination of nicotine and nicotine-d2 at concentrations as low as 1 ng ml-1, and cotinine and cotinine-d2 at concentrations as low as 10 ng ml-1 with good precision and accuracy. The method has been used to compare the elimination kinetics of (S)-nicotine-3',3'-d2 with natural nicotine in human subjects. Total clearance of nicotine-3',3'-d2 was virtually identical to the total clearance of natural nicotine, which validates the use of the deuterium-labeled analog in quantitative studies of nicotine metabolic disposition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cotinine / blood*
  • Deuterium
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / blood
  • Nicotine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Smoking / blood
  • Smoking / metabolism*


  • Nicotine
  • Deuterium
  • Cotinine