A liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for ethyl glucuronide (EtG) detection and quantification in nails was developed and fully validated. Nails were extracted in 700 μL double-distilled water. EtG-d5 was used as an internal standard. Reversed-phase separation was obtained with an isocratic mobile phase composed of 0.1% formic acid and acetonitrile (99:1) for 10 min. Quantification was performed by multiple reaction monitoring of two transitions per compound (EtG and internal standard). The assay was linear from 10 to 500 pg/mg. Validation parameters were studied at three different quality control levels (10, 50, and 300 pg/mg). Intraday, interday, and total imprecision had a coefficient of variation of less than 9.5%. Ion suppression and ion enhancement were negligible (less than 20%). No carryover was detected. The method was applied to several real cases, among teetotalers, social drinkers, and heavy drinkers. A questionnaire, together with the informed consent form, was given to all the participants in order to evaluate alcohol intake in the one month before sample collection. Nail EtG levels in a social drinker were much higher than the concentrations of EtG in hair provided by the same subject, thus suggesting potential high sensitivity in evaluating both chronic excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking habits.
Ethyl glucuronide Nails Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry Alcohol markers Binge drinking