In this work, simultaneous separation of eight stereoisomers of ephedrine and related compounds ((+/-)-ephedrine, (+/-)-pseudoephedrine, (+/-)-norephedrine and (+/-)-N-methylephedrine) was accomplished using a polymeric chiral surfactant, i.e. polysodium N-undecenoxycarbonyl-L-leucinate (poly-L-SUCL) by chiral (C)MEKC-ESI-MS. The conditions of CMEKC were first investigated. The baseline separation of all eight stereoisomers of ephedrine and related compounds was achieved under optimum CMEKC conditions (35 mM poly-L-SUCL, 15 mM NH(4)OAc, pH 6.0, 30% v/v ACN, 30 kV and 20 degrees C) in less than 30 min. Next, a central composite design for response surface modeling has been described to evaluate the electrospray chamber parameters and the sheath liquid conditions. Optimum mass abundance of stereoisomers of ephedrine and related compounds was observed using the spray chamber parameters, namely 250 degrees C drying gas temperature and 8 L/min drying gas flow rate at a nebulizer pressure of 4 psi. Furthermore, the experimental design indicates that the optimum mass abundance of the stereoisomers of ephedrine and related compounds can be obtained using a sheath liquid containing 80:20 v/v methanol-water, 5 mM NH(4)OAc at pH 8.5 delivered at 5 microL/min. Finally, compared to MEKC-UV, the use of poly-L-SUCL in MEKC-MS provided significantly higher sensitivity for stereoisomers of ephedrine and related compounds.