Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric determination of β2-agonists in postmortem blood: application in forensic medicine

Fiona J. Couper, Olaf H. Drummer

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A solid-phase extraction procedure is described for the simultaneous determination of terbutaline, salbutamol and fenoterol in human postmortem whole blood, using gas chromatography-electron impact mass spectrometry. The limit of quantitation in 1 ml of blood was 1 ng/ml for all analytes. A linear response was observed over the concentration ranges tested, covering both low and high concentrations of each drug. The recoveries in postmortem blood were: terbutaline, 88%; salbutamol, 86%; fenoterol, 92%; orciprenaline (internal standard), 86%. Coefficients of variation for both intra-assay precision and inter-assay reproducibility ranged between 2.2 and 13.0% for all analytes. This method is sensitive and selective, and has been applied successfully to over 60 postmortem blood specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography B - Biomedical Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 1996


  • Fenoterol
  • Salbutamol
  • Terbutaline

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