Journal of chromatography. B, Biomedical sciences and applications

Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric detection of anhydroecgonine methyl ester (methylecgonidine) in human serum as evidence of recent smoking of crack.

PMID 10630898


The discrimination between smoking of crack and other routes of cocaine application has forensic implications. The pyrolysis product anhydroecgonine methyl ester (AEME, methylecgonidine) has been found to be a marker for smoked cocaine. An improved method for the determination of AEME in serum was developed, consisting of mixed phase solid-phase extraction and GC-MS. Special care was taken for the volatility of AEME and tert.-butyldimethylsilylation was used for derivatization. Thus AEME could be determined for the first time in 13 serum samples from living subjects. The concentrations found were in a range of 3 to 34 ng/ml, a correlation with the storage time of the samples or with benzoylecgonine concentrations could not be found.