Studies on anabolic steroids. I. Integrated methodological approach to the gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis of anabolic steroid metabolites in urine

J Chromatogr. 1989 Apr 7;489(1):23-50.


The analytical and methodological imperatives for large-scale and routine gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric screening of anabolic steroid urinary metabolites are described. Several aspects of their isolation, enzymatic hydrolysis, derivatization and metabolism in humans are discussed. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric data illustrating artifacts arising from enzymatic hydrolysis of 3 beta-ol-5-en steroids, and describing new metabolites of boldenone, methanedienone and stanozolol, as well as the conversion of norethisterone into 19-nortestosterone metabolites through de-ethylation at C-17, are presented. The analytical approach developed for gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric screening of anabolic steroids is based on the sequential selection-ion monitoring of specific and discrete ion groups characteristic to the steroids of interest under high-resolution chromatographic conditions. The major analytical and methodological requirements necessary to provide irrefutable evidence, in the case where the presence of a synthetic anabolic steroid or a testosterone to epitestosterone ratio higher than 6:1 is suspected in a given urine specimen, are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / metabolism
  • Anabolic Agents / urine*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Reference Standards
  • Testosterone / urine


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Testosterone