, Volume 388, Issue 7, pp 1415-1435
Date: 28 Apr 2007

Bioanalytical procedures for determination of drugs of abuse in blood

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Determination of drugs of abuse in blood is of great importance in clinical and forensic toxicology. This review describes procedures for detection of the following drugs of abuse and their metabolites in whole blood, plasma or serum: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, 11-hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol glucuronide, heroin, 6-monoacetylmorphine, morphine, morphine-6-glucuronide, morphine-3-glucuronide, codeine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, N-ethyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, cocaine, benzoylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester, cocaethylene, other cocaine metabolites or pyrolysis products (norcocaine, norcocaethylene, norbenzoylecgonine, m-hydroxycocaine, p-hydroxycocaine, m-hydroxybenzoylecgonine, p-hydroxybenzoylecgonine, ethyl ecgonine, ecgonine, anhydroecgonine methyl ester, anhydroecgonine ethyl ester, anhydroecgonine, noranhydroecgonine, N-hydroxynorcocaine, cocaine N-oxide, anhydroecgonine methyl ester N-oxide). Metabolites and degradation products which are recommended to be monitored for assessment in clinical or forensic toxicology are mentioned. Papers written in English between 2002 and the beginning of 2007 are reviewed. Analytical methods are assessed for their suitability in forensic toxicology, where special requirements have to be met. For many of the analytes sensitive immunological methods for screening are available. Screening and confirmation is mostly done by gas chromatography (GC)–mass spectrometry (MS) or liquid chromatography (LC)–MS(/MS) procedures. Basic information about the biosample assayed, internal standard, workup, GC or LC column and mobile phase, detection mode, and validation data for each procedure is summarized in two tables to facilitate the selection of a method suitable for a specific analytic problem.