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Screening and confirmation methods for GHB determination in biological fluids

Authors
  • Ingels, Ann-Sofie M. E.1, 2
  • Wille, Sarah M. R.2
  • Samyn, Nele2
  • Lambert, Willy E.1
  • Stove, Christophe P.1
  • 1 Ghent University, Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Harelbekestraat 72, Ghent, 9000, Belgium , Ghent (Belgium)
  • 2 Federal Public Services, Laboratory of Toxicology, National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology, Vilvoordsesteenweg 100, Brussels, 1120, Belgium , Brussels (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 06, 2014
Volume
406
Issue
15
Pages
3553–3577
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00216-013-7586-6
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of reported methods for screening and confirmation of the low-molecular-weight compound and drug of abuse gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in biological fluids. The polarity of the compound, its endogenous presence, its rapid metabolism after ingestion, and its instability during storage (de novo formation and interconversion between GHB and its lactone form gamma-butyrolactone) are challenges for the analyst and for interpretation of a positive result. First, possible screening procedures for GHB are discussed, including colorimetric, enzymatic, and chromatography-based procedures. Confirmation methods for clinical and forensic cases mostly involve gas chromatography (coupled to mass spectrometry), although liquid chromatography and capillary zone electrophoresis have also been used. Before injection, sample-preparation techniques include (a combination of) liquid–liquid, solid-phase, or headspace extraction, and chemical modification of the polar compound. Also simple “dilute-and-shoot” may be sufficient for urine or serum. Advantages, limitations, and trends are discussed.

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