Research Paper

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 406, Issue 21, pp 5195-5202

First online:

Quantitation of five organophosphorus nerve agent metabolites in serum using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry

  • Elizabeth I. HamelinAffiliated withDivision of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Email author 
  • , Nicholas D. SchulzeAffiliated withORISE (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education)
  • , Rebecca L. ShanerAffiliated withDivision of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , Rebecca M. ColemanAffiliated withORISE (Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education)
  • , Richard J. LawrenceAffiliated withU.S Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, R&T Directorate, Aberdeen Proving Ground
  • , Brian S. CrowAffiliated withDivision of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • , E. M. JakubowskiAffiliated withU.S Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, R&T Directorate, Aberdeen Proving Ground
  • , Rudolph C. JohnsonAffiliated withDivision of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Abstract

Although nerve agent use is prohibited, concerns remain for human exposure to nerve agents during decommissioning, research, and warfare. Exposure can be detected through the analysis of hydrolysis products in urine as well as blood. An analytical method to detect exposure to five nerve agents, including VX, VR (Russian VX), GB (sarin), GD (soman), and GF (cyclosarin), through the analysis of the hydrolysis products, which are the primary metabolites, in serum has been developed and characterized. This method uses solid-phase extraction coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography for separation and isotopic dilution tandem mass spectrometry for detection. An uncommon buffer of ammonium fluoride was used to enhance ionization and improve sensitivity when coupled with hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography resulting in detection limits from 0.3 to 0.5 ng/mL. The assessment of two quality control samples demonstrated high accuracy (101–105 %) and high precision (5–8 %) for the detection of these five nerve agent hydrolysis products in serum.

Keyword

Organophosphorus nerve agents Metabolites Serum Exposure