Construction of calibration-locking databases for rapid and reliable drug screening by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Keiko Kudo, Tomomi Ishida, Wakako Hikiji, Makiko Hayashida, Kyoko Uekusa, Yosuke Usumoto, Akiko Tsuji, Noriaki Ikeda

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Unique calibration-locking databases were constructed for rapid and semiquantitative drug screening by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS). In addition to the free-drug database of 127 drugs, a drug database with acetylating reagents was constructed to increase the number of detectable compounds in the analysis by GC-MS; 156 drugs, including 30 drugs of abuse, 42 hypnotics and their metabolites, 18 antipsychotic drugs, 15 antidepressants, and 12 antipyretic analgesic agents, were registered with parameters, such as the mass spectrum, retention time, qualifier ion/target ion percentage, and calibration curve using the novel GC-MS software NAGINATA. Diazepam-d 5 was used as internal standard for construction of each calibration curve in the range of 0.01-5.0 μg/ml for most drugs. We examined the applicability of the constructed database to analyzing whole blood samples spiked with 40 drugs most commonly encountered in toxicological cases in Japan. The drugs in blood were extracted using enhanced polymer columns (Focus), subjected to GC-MS after incubation with acetylating reagents, and screened by the drug database. Among the 40 drugs examined, 38 and 30 drugs were successfully identifi ed at the level of 1 and 0.1 μg/ml, respectively, without using standard compounds. The time required for data analysis was less than 1 min, and semiquantitative data were also obtained simultaneously. Because new drugs and metabolites can easily be added to the databases, we can recommend them as useful tools in clinical and forensic toxicological screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalForensic Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Biochemistry, medical


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