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Vincenti M.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Vincenti M.,University of Turin | Leporati M.,University of Turin | Capra P.,C O Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | And 4 more authors.
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment | Year: 2012

Prednisolone is a synthetic glucocorticoid widely employed in bovine clinical practice that may also be used illegally as a growth promoter. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies lend support to the hypothesis that prednisolone could be synthesised from cortisol in untreated cattle subjected to stressful events. To verify such a hypothesis, a field survey was conducted on urine samples collected from 131 guaranteed untreated cows and analysed for the presence of prednisolone and prednisone - in some instances also for cortisol and cortisone - with a validated LC/MS-MS method. None of the examined samples exhibited either prednisolone levels higher than the CCα limit (around 0.70 μg l-1) or prednisone, being therefore officially compliant for both analytes. Trace amounts of prednisolone, approximately estimated in the range 0.1-0.3 μg l-1 were found in only seven samples from cows also showing urinary cortisol and cortisone levels higher than those detected in negative specimens, as the result of a probable stress condition. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source


A simple procedure for the quantitative detection of JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH 200, JWH-250, HU-210, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) in hair has been developed and fully validated. After digestion with NaOH and liquid-liquid extraction, the separation was performed with an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography system coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer operating in the selected reaction monitoring mode. The absence of matrix interferents, together with excellent repeatability of both retention times and relative abundances of diagnostic transitions, allowed the correct identification of all analytes tested. The method was linear in two different intervals at low and high concentration, with correlation coefficient values between 0.9933 and 0.9991. Quantitation limits ranged from 0.07 pg/mg for JWH-200 up to 18 pg/mg for CBD The present method for the determination of several cannabinoids in hair proved to be simple, fast, specific and sensitive. The method was successfully applied to the analysis of 179 real samples collected from proven consumers of Cannabis, among which 14 were found positive to at least one synthetic cannabinoid. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Salomone A.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Di Corcia D.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Gerace E.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Vincenti M.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Vincenti M.,University of Turin
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2011

Mirtazapine, escitalopram, and valproic acid are newer antidepressant drugs than traditional tricyclic antidepressants and are supposed to be less toxic. Nevertheless, intoxication cases due to their overdosage have been repeatedly reported. In the case presently reported, a 64-year-old woman with a previous history of chronic depression was found dead in her apartment. Several packages of pharmaceutical drugs were found, including mirtazapine, escitalopram, and valproic acid. During the autopsy, no evidence of natural disease or trauma was found to account for this death. In order to determine whether massive drug assumption might have determined a lethal intoxication, heart blood, urine, and gastric content were collected and submitted to toxicological analysis. Specific liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry protocols were purposely developed and validated. Blood concentrations of mirtazapine, escitalopram, and valproic acid were 20.3, 65.5, and 417 mg/L, respectively, whereas urine concentrations were 17.0, 94.5, and 423 mg/L, respectively. High concentrations of these drugs were also detected in the gastric content, confirming their ingestion shortly before death. The agreement between authoptic examination by forensic pathologists and toxicological findings are consistent with the suicidal hypothesis, where the death arose by drug intoxication due to simultaneous high-dosage ingestion of mirtazapine, escitalopram, and valproic acid. Source


Salomone A.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Luciano C.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Di Corcia D.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Gerace E.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | And 2 more authors.
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2014

Among the new psychoactive products, herbal mixtures containing synthetic cannabimimetics are likely the most abused worldwide. In this study, a specific ultra high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method for the detection of 23 synthetic cannabinoids in hair samples was developed in order to (1) expand the number of screened compounds, coherent with new substances emerging in the European territory, (2) evaluate their consumption on a large period of examination, and (3) evaluate the diffusion of cannabimimetics among different populations of drug consumers. The method employs digestion of hair sample with NaOH followed by extraction with n-hexane/ethylacetate, and injection into the UHPLC-MS/MS system. After validation, the method was applied to the analysis of 344 hair samples previously tested in our laboratory for the most common drugs. Overall, 15 samples were found positive for at least one synthetic cannabinoid. Coherent with previously published results, the present data show that young males, former or still active Cannabis consumers, represent the population most often involved in synthetic cannabimimetics consumption. Several cases of poly-abuse were also determined. The drug most frequently detected was JWH-073 (11 samples) generally at low concentration (mean 7.69 ± 14.4 pg/mg, median 1.9 pg/mg, range 1.6-50.5 pg/mg), followed by JWH-122 (8 samples, mean concentration: 544 ± 968 pg/mg, median 28.4 pg/mg, range 7.4-2800 pg/mg). Other detected drugs included JWH-250, JWH-081, JWH-018, JWH-210, JWH-019, and AM-1220. For several positive samples, the synthetic cannabinoid concentration was lower than 50 pg/mg, underlining the need for established cut-off values for discrimination between chronic consumption and occasional use (or external contamination). © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Salomone A.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Gerace E.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | Gerace E.,University of Turin | Brizio P.,Centro Regionale Antidoping A Bertinaria | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis | Year: 2011

A fast liquid chromatographic/tandem mass spectrometric method was developed for the simultaneous determination in human urine of seventeen benzodiazepines, four relevant metabolites together plus zolpidem and zopiclone. The sample preparation, optimized to take into account the matrix effect, was based on enzymatic hydrolysis and liquid-liquid extraction. The separation of the twenty-three analytes was achieved in less than eight minutes.The whole methodology was fully validated according to UNI EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 rules and 2006 SOFT/AAFS guidelines. Selectivity, linearity range, identification (LOD) and quantitation (LOQ) limits, precision, accuracy and recovery were evaluated. For all the species the signal/concentration linearity was satisfactory in the 50-1000 ng/mL concentration range. The limits of detection ranged from 0.5 to 30 ng/mL and LOQs from 1.7 to 100.0. ng/mL. Precisions were in the ranges 5.0-11.8%, 1.5-11.0% and 1.1-4.4% for low (100 ng/mL), medium (300 ng/mL) and high (1000 ng/mL) concentration, respectively. The accuracy, expressed as bias% was within ±25% for all the analytes. The recovery values, evaluated at 300 ng/mL concentration, ranged from 56.2% to 98.8%. The present method for the determination of several benzodiazepines, zolpidem and zopiclone in human urine proved to be simple, fast, specific and sensitive. The quantification by LC-MS/MS was successfully applied to 329 forensic cases among driving re-licensing, car accidents and alleged sexual violence cases. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

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