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Determination of dexamethasone in urine and faeces of treated cattle with negative chemical ionization-mass spectrometry

  • Courtheyn, Dirk
  • Vercammen, Jan
  • De Brabander, Hubert
  • Vandenreyt, Ingrid
  • Batjoens, Peter
  • Vanoosthuyze, Kristina
  • Van Peteghem, Carlos
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1994
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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For several years, the misuse of dexamethasone and its esters in livestock production has been clearly demonstrated. The first part of the present study deals with the elaboration of a sensitive and specific method for the determination of residues of dexamethasone in excreta at the ppb level. Sample preparation for urine and faeces, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) fractionation, was carried out. The detection was based on established methodology employing negative chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (NCI-MS) after oxidation of the dexamethasone. In comparison with previous literature, the yield of oxidized dexamethasone was substantially improved and the oxidation procedure was made more simple and robust. In the second part of the study, the relationship between the dose of dexamethasone administered and the levels of the drug in excreta was investigated using this method, as was the ratio between drug levels in urine and faeces. Treatment was carried out for 7 d with an oral dose of 50 mg d(-1), the maximum levels found in urine and faeces were 980 and 744 ppb, respectively. While the elimination via faeces responded much slower at the start and the end of treatment, the final part of both excretion profiles were very similar and a level of 1 ppb was reached in both matrices 9 d after the end of treatment. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) results obtained for the urine samples were compared with those obtained with direct enzyme immunoassay.

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