Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences

Testing for kavain in human hair using gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID 14643516


A sensitive, specific and reproducible method for the quantitative determination of kavain in human hair has been developed. The sample preparation involved a decontamination step of the hair with methylene chloride. The hair sample (about 50 mg) was incubated in 1 ml of methanol for 1 h, in an ultrasonic bath, in presence of 20 ng of methaqualone-d7 used as internal standard. The methanolic solution was evaporated to dryness, and the residue reconstituted by adding 30 microl of methanol. A 2 microl aliquot of the extract was injected onto the column (Optima5-MS capillary column, 5% phenyl-95% methylsiloxane, 30 m x 0.25 mm i.d. x 0.25 mm film thickness) of a Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, CA) gas chromatograph (5890). Kavain was detected by its parent ion at m/z 230 and daughter ions at m/z 111 and 202 through a Finnigan TSQ 700 MS/MS system. The assay was capable of detecting 30 pg/mg of kavain (limit of detection (LOD)). Linearity was observed for kavain concentrations ranging from 100 to 2000 pg/mg with a correlation coefficient of 0.998. Intra-day precision at 400 pg/mg was 13.7%. The analysis of a segment of hair, obtained from an occasional consumer, revealed the presence of kavain at the concentration of 418 pg/mg. A higher concentration (1708 pg/mg) was detected in the corresponding pubic hair.