Author(s): Aebi B, SturnyJungo R, Bernhard W, Blanke R, Hirsch R
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Abstract Time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) offers new perspectives for forensic toxicology. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of a mixture of three selected benzodiazepines (diazepam, nordazepam and bromazepam) were used to compare gas chromatography (GC-TOF-MS, quadrupole GC-MS, GC-ECD) and liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD) data. Method validation parameters like LOD, LOQ, S/N-ratios reflect the capabilities of GC-TOF-MS. Five-point calibrations for bromazepam in human peripheral blood (50, 100, 160, 200, 300 ng/ml) using medazepam as internal standard (1000 ng/ml) were performed. The calibrations using GC-TOF-MS (using the fragments of m/z 236 and 288), GC-ECD (dual system) and HPLC-DAD (at 235 nm) all showed correlation coefficients close or superior to 0.99. Quadrupole GC-MS data was not used in the comparison of extracted samples due to the low sensitivity in the full scan mode. Two analyses of real cases concerning bromazepam are presented. In the first case, the presence or absence of bromazepam could not be established with both HPLC-DAD and GC-ECD due to background signals. The extracted ion chromatograms and spectrum traces after the analysis with the GC-TOF-MS could clearly excluded the presence of bromazepam. The second case illustrates the quantitation of bromazepam, where both HPLC-DAD and GC-ECD were unable to give satisfactory results, again due to interfering background signals. The analyses performed on the GC-TOF-MS-system demonstrated high sensitivity and also high selectivity due to the high quality of mass spectra obtained. The advantages of GC-TOF-MS make it a promising analytical technique for forensic toxicology.
This article was published in Forensic Sci Int
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques