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The determination of organophosphonate nerve agent metabolites in human urine by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry

Journal of Chromatography B
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.01.023
  • Hydrophilic Interaction Chromatography
  • Hilic Chromatography
  • Lc/Ms/Ms
  • Organophosphorus Nerve Agents
  • Nerve Agent Metabolites
  • Chemical Warfare Agent
  • Chemical Terrorism
  • Biology


Abstract A sensitive, robust isotope dilution LC/MS/MS method is presented for the quantitative analysis of human urine for the alkyl methylphosphonic acid metabolites of five organophosphorus nerve agents (VX, rVX or VR, GB or Sarin, GD or Soman, and GF or Cyclosarin). The selective sample preparation method employs non-bonded silica solid-phase extraction and is partially automated. While working with a mobile phase composition that enhances the electrospray ionization process, the hydrophilic interaction chromatography method results in a 5-min injection-to-injection cycle time, excellent peak shapes and adequate retention ( k′ = 3.1). These factors lead to limits of detection for these metabolites as low as 30 pg/mL in a 1-mL sample of human urine. The quality control data (15 and 75 ng/mL) demonstrate accurate (−0.5 to +3.4%) and precise (coefficients of variation of 2.1–3.6%) quantitative results over the clinically relevant urine concentration range of 1–200 ng/mL for a validation set of 20 standard and quality control sets prepared by five analysts over 54 days. The selectivity of the method is demonstrated for a 100-individual reference range study, as well as the analysis of relevant biological samples. The combined sample preparation and analysis portions of this method have a throughput of 288 samples per day.

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