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Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Determination of p-Chloroaniline in Gel and Aqueous Chlorhexidine Products Used in Dentistry


A rapid and selective method to determine p-chloroaniline (pCA) in gel, 2 % aqueous solutions, and 0.12 % oral rinse formulas of chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX) used in dentistry treatments was developed and validated. The method was appropriate for ensuring that these products are in accordance with current legislation. Furthermore, the precipitate formed when 2 % CHX is added to sodium hypochlorite was investigated to verify whether this mixture forms pCA. To quantify pCA, liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) was used and the following m/z 127.9/93.0 and 127.9/111.0 were used as qualifier and quantifier transitions, respectively. The LC separation, using a C18 column proved highly efficient for pCA and its isomers, i.e., m-chloroaniline and o-chloroaniline. Multiple reaction monitoring provided the proper selectivity and specificity for the method. Commercial aqueous solutions, gels, and oral rinses containing CHX were analyzed, and their pCA contents complied with those recommended by the European and United States Pharmacopeias. The method was also able to detect pCA in the precipitate and its concentration is below 0.1 %.

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The authors affectionately acknowledge the contribution of Professor Francisco José de Souza-Filho of the Department of Restorative Dentistry, Endodontics Area, State University of Campinas, UNICAMP, Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil, to this article, and express thanks to FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) for financial support.

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Correspondence to Lygia Azevedo Marques.

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Gonçalves, A.R., do Nascimento, H.L., Duarte, G.H.B. et al. Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Determination of p-Chloroaniline in Gel and Aqueous Chlorhexidine Products Used in Dentistry. Chromatographia 79, 841–849 (2016).

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  • LC–MS/MS
  • p-Chloroaniline
  • Chlorhexidine