Direct determination of anabolic steroid conjugates in human urine by combined high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry

J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1997 Mar 7;690(1-2):65-75. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4347(96)00403-3.


A novel screening procedure for the sulfate and glucuronide conjugates of testosterone (T) and epitestosterone (E) in human urine was developed based on liquid-solid extraction and microbore high-performance liquid chromatography combined on-line with ion-spray tandem mass spectrometry. Confirmation of the sulfate and glucuronide conjugates of testosterone and epitestosterone isolated from normal human urine was achieved by selected reaction monitoring of characteristic product ions of the parent compounds. Endogenous levels of the steroid conjugates are detected in normal male urine and an increase is observed when the sample is fortified with authentic analytical standards of the conjugates. Calibration curves of all steroid conjugates in urine are linear over a range of twenty. Deuterated internal standards of testosterone glucuronide and epitestosterone sulfate were used for quantitation of the endogenous conjugates. T/E ratios were determined based on the glucuronide fractions of six replicates from a normal male and were shown to be statistically reproducible and below the accepted T/E threshold of 6:1. Sulfate conjugates were shown to be present at significantly lower levels in the urine. The method has potential as an alternative for monitoring anabolic steroid conjugates in human urine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / urine*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Epitestosterone / urine*
  • Glucuronates
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • Sulfates
  • Testosterone / urine*


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Glucuronates
  • Sulfates
  • Testosterone
  • Epitestosterone