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GC-MS detection and tentative characterization of two noscapine metabolites in human urine and their potential as markers for opium and illicit heroin use
, A.M. Al-Amri, H.S. Ali
Published in
Volume: 25
Issue: 1
Pages: 22 - 29
Urine samples for cases of drug abuse are regularly screened by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) after enzyme hydrolysis, liquid-liquid extraction, and trimethylsilyl (TMS) derivatization. During such routine analysis, two compounds (labeled as X1 and X2) were detected in urine samples of opium and illicit heroin users as their TMS derivatives, which led us to tentatively characterize the compounds. It was found that the compounds were noscapine metabolites as determined by GC-MS in both electron-impact ionization (EI) and chemical ionization modes. Together with the analysis of fragment ions in the EI mass spectra, the X1 and X2 compounds were further assigned as 6,7-dihydroxynoscapine and its desmethyl product at either position 6′ or 7′, respectively. The two tentatively characterized compounds were found to be useful as markers for excluding medicinal morphine use and for refuting claims of codeine use or Golden-Seal preparation use often made by heroin addicts to evade conviction. By addition of the above two metabolites, the arsenal of markers for opium and illicit heroin use has now been strengthened. © 2007 Japanese Association of Forensic Toxicology and Springer.
About the journal
JournalForensic Toxicology