Simultaneous Quantitative Determination of Synthetic Cathinone Enantiomers in Urine and Plasma Using GC-NCI-MS

J Anal Methods Chem. 2018 Apr 1;2018:4396043. doi: 10.1155/2018/4396043. eCollection 2018.


Development and validation of sensitive and selective method for enantioseparation and quantitation of synthetic cathinones is reported using GC-MS triple quadrupole mass spectrometry with negative chemical ionization (NCI) mode. Indirect chiral separation of thirty-six synthetic cathinone compounds has been achieved by using an optically pure chiral derivatizing agent (CDA) called (S)-(-)-N-(trifluoroacetyl)pyrrolidine-2-carbonyl chloride (L-TPC), which converts cathinone enantiomers into diastereoisomers that can be separated on achiral columns. As a result of using Ultra Inert 60 m column and performing slow heating rate (2°C/min) on the GC oven, an observed enhancement in enantiomer peak resolution has been achieved. An internal standard, (+)-cathinone, was used for quantitation of synthetic cathinones. Method validation in terms of linearities and sensitivity in terms of limits of detection (LODs), limits of quantitation (LOQs), recoveries, and reproducibilities has been obtained for fourteen selected compounds that examined simultaneously as a mixture after being spiked in urine and plasma. It was found that the LOD of the fourteen synthetic cathinones in urine was in the range of 0.26-0.76 µg/L, and in plasma, it was in the range of 0.26-0.34 µg/L. While the LOQ of the mixture in urine was in the range of 0.86-2.34 µg/L, and in plasma, it was in the range of 0.89-1.12 µg/L. Unlike the electron impact (EI) ion source, NCI showed better sensitivity by two orders of magnitude by comparing the obtained results with the recently published reports for quantitative analysis and enantioseparation of synthetic cathinones.