In Japan, not only the classical stimulant, methamphetamine, but also a wide variety of illicit drugs and designer drugs are abused by juveniles. It is, however, difficult to screen these drugs in human urine due to the poor availability of high-quality standards. Therefore, it is important to develop a screening method that does not require the use of standard compounds. Furthermore, if we can obtain approximate drug concentrations in biological fluids by the first screening procedure, the subsequent treatment of the patient and forensic diagnosis can be carried out more rapidly and exact quantitative analysis performed more efficiently. We have devised a rapid screening method for the simultaneous semi-quantitative analysis of 30 abused drugs using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) with a retention time locking technique. Based on this method, an 'abused drugs database' was constructed including retention time (RT), qualifier ion/target ion (QT) percentage and calibration curve (values of slope and intercept) using the novel GC/MS software, NAGINATA™. We compared the analytical results obtained by this method using the constructed database with those from conventional methods in six forensic cases. The number of confirmed drugs and concentrations obtained by the established method was comparable with that obtained by conventional methods. We found a significant improvement in the time for data analysis, and qualitative and quantitative information about each drug was obtained without using standards. Therefore, this new screening procedure using NAGINATA™ has potential for the rapid identification of poisoning and should be useful in clinical and forensic toxicological analyses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry