A sensitive and specific method for the simultaneous detection and quantification of amphetamine, opiates, and cocaine and metabolites in human postmortem brain was developed and validated. Analytes of interest included amphetamine, morphine, codeine, 6-acetylmorphine, cocaine, benzoylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester, ecgonine ethyl ester, cocaethylene, and anhydroecgonine methyl ester. The method employed ultrasonic homogenization of brain tissue in pH 4.0 sodium acetate buffer and solid phase extraction. Extracts were derivatized with N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide and N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide. Separation and quantification were accomplished on a bench-top positive chemical ionization capillary gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer with selected ion monitoring. Eight deuterated analogs were used as internal standards. Limits of quantification were 50 ng/g of brain. Calibration curves were linear to 1000 ng/g for anhydroecgonine methyl ester and 6-acetylmorphine, and to 2000 ng/g for all other analytes. Accuracy across the linear range of the assay ranged from 90.2 to 112.2%, and precision, as percent relative standard deviation, was less than 16.6%. Quantification of drug concentrations in brain is a useful research tool in neurobiology and in forensic and postmortem toxicology, identifying the type, relative magnitude, and recency of abused drug exposure. This method will be employed to quantify drug concentrations in human postmortem brain in support of basic and clinical research on the physiologic, biochemical, and behavioral effects of drugs in humans.
- Drugs of abuse
ASJC Scopus subject areas