Journal of analytical toxicology

Simultaneous determination of γ-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its analogues (GBL, 1.4-BD, GVL) in whole blood and urine by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID 21219697


A simple liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) method has been developed and validated for simultaneous identification and quantification of γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), γ-butyrolactone (GBL), 1.4-butanediol (1.4-BD), and γ-valerolactone (GVL) in whole blood from forensic cases. The sample preparation of whole blood involved protein precipitation by acidic methanol. Urine samples were diluted and evaluated in relation to a control at the cutoff concentration. Hexadeutero GHB (GHB-d(6)) was used as the internal standard. Separation was achieved by reversed-phase chromatography, and detection was by MS-MS in MRM mode. The linear range for all compounds was from 1.0 to 100 mg/kg in whole blood with a limit of quantification of about 1 mg/kg. The method was validated with regards to selectivity, recovery, accuracy and precision, and stability. The method is currently applied to investigations on suspected drug-facilitated sexual assaults, driving under the influence of drugs, and general intoxication with these substances.