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Article

Development and Validation of a Single Step GC/MS Method for the Determination of 41 Drugs and Drugs of Abuse in Postmortem Blood

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Laboratory of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation, Bioanalysis and Omics Lab, CIRI-AUTH B1.4, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thermi, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
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Laboratory of Toxicology, Forensic Service of Ministry of Justice, 56334 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ricardo Dinis-Oliveira, Francisca Alves Cardoso and Pier Matteo Barone
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(3), 473-491; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2030035
Received: 10 June 2022 / Revised: 29 June 2022 / Accepted: 1 July 2022 / Published: 7 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Forensic Sciences in 2022)
A toxicology laboratory often receives a high number of samples from cases (autopsies or clinical) that may require the quick delivery of trustworthy, accurate results. Thus, there is a great need for a fast and reliable method that is capable of identifying and determining a large number of drugs and drugs of abuse in biological matrices, and especially in blood. In the present study, we describe the development of a fast and simple gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method for the determination of 41 drugs and drugs of abuse (DOA) in blood. Sample pre-treatment by alkaline liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) was studied through the utilization of different solvents and solvent-to-sample ratios (v/v), which aimed to achieve a greater extraction efficiency and detection sensitivity with a decreased need for large sample volumes. Butyl acetate with a sample-to-solvent ratio of 4:1 (1 mL blood: 0.25 mL butyl acetate) was the most efficient. The method was validated for all analytes, and the evaluation parameters were within the acceptance criteria. The coefficient of determination (R2) was between 0.9934 and 1, the limits of detection (LODs) ranged between 1 ng/mL and 113 ng/mL, and the limits of quantification (LOQs) were between 4 ng/mL and 375 ng/mL for all analytes. The determinations were accurate (accuracy% from 84% to 114%) and precise (RSD% from 0.66% to 14.8% for low concentrations). Deconvolution Reporting Software (DRS) for GC-MS was optimized and applied for data analysis to enhance the identification potential, thereby avoiding false identifications (false positives) and increased productivity. The NIST Automated Mass Spectral Deconvolution and Identification Software (AMDIS) and the analytical utility Retention Time Lock (RTL) Database Library assisted in data evaluation. The method was applied to 89 postmortem cases (history of mental disorders and use of psychiatric pharmaceuticals) in which diazepam (0.13 to 4.34 μg/mL), citalopram (0.04 to 0.24 μg/mL), alprazolam (0.01 to 0.12 μg/mL), olanzapine (0.009 to 0.083 μg/mL), mirtazapine (0.01 to 0.33 μg/mL), venlafaxine (0.006 to 0.92 μg/mL), haloperidol (0.007 to 0.13 μg/mL), and zolpidem (0.01 to 0.16 μg/mL) were successfully quantitated. View Full-Text
Keywords: GC-MS; LLE; DRS; blood; drugs of abuse GC-MS; LLE; DRS; blood; drugs of abuse
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MDPI and ACS Style

Orfanidis, A.; Krokos, A.; Mastrogianni, O.; Gika, H.; Raikos, N.; Theodoridis, G. Development and Validation of a Single Step GC/MS Method for the Determination of 41 Drugs and Drugs of Abuse in Postmortem Blood. Forensic Sci. 2022, 2, 473-491. https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2030035

AMA Style

Orfanidis A, Krokos A, Mastrogianni O, Gika H, Raikos N, Theodoridis G. Development and Validation of a Single Step GC/MS Method for the Determination of 41 Drugs and Drugs of Abuse in Postmortem Blood. Forensic Sciences. 2022; 2(3):473-491. https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2030035

Chicago/Turabian Style

Orfanidis, Amvrosios, Adamantios Krokos, Orthodoxia Mastrogianni, Helen Gika, Nikolaos Raikos, and Georgios Theodoridis. 2022. "Development and Validation of a Single Step GC/MS Method for the Determination of 41 Drugs and Drugs of Abuse in Postmortem Blood" Forensic Sciences 2, no. 3: 473-491. https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2030035

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