Detection and measurement of opium alkaloids and metabolites in urine of opium eaters by methane chemical ionization mass fragmentography

Edward J. Cone, Charles W. Gorodetzky, Shu Yuan Yeh, William D. Darwin, William F. Buchwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric assay for eight opium alkaloids in human urine following opium ingestion is described. The compounds were extracted from urine with methylene chloride-isopropanol (7:3, v/v) at pH 9.5, evaporated, derivatized with Tri-Sil Z and analyzed by methane chemical ionization mass fragmentography. The method is sensitive to ca. 0.01 μg/ml for morphine and codeine and ca. 0.05 μg/ml for the other compounds. Adsorption problems on the gas chromatography column prevented obtaining reproducible results for the measurement of noscapine. Extraction efficiencies over the pH range of 8-11 for the eight compounds are reported. Retention times of the opium alkaloids were determined using five different liquid phases (3%) on Gas-Chrom Q (100-120 mesh) and two column lengths (36 cm and 183 cm). The 36-cm column packed with OV-210 was selected for use in the assay. Ions were selected for monitoring for each component from their methane chemical ionization spectrum to provide the needed sensitivity and specificity for analysis of a multi-component mixture. The assay was used for the analysis of an "opium eater's" urine. Morphine, codeine, nomorphine, norcodeine and noscapine were detected; however, no evidence was obtained for thebaine, papaverine or oripavine. Unconjugated morphine (0.64 μg/ml) was present at nearly twice the concentration of codeine (0.37 μg/ml) and normorphine and norcodeine were present in equal amounts (ca. 0.15 μg/ml).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Biomedical Sciences and Applications
Volume230
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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