, Volume 59, Supplement 1, pp S45–S50 | Cite as

Detection of Quaternary Ammonium Drugs in Equine Urine by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

  • K.C.H. Yiu
  • E.N.M. Ho
  • T.S.M. Wan


Quaternary ammonium drugs are anticholinergic agents and some of which have been known to be abused in equine sports. A general screening method for this class of drugs in equine urine by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) has not been reported. The paper describes an efficient LC-MS-MS method for the simultaneous detection and confirmation of twenty quaternary ammonium drugs at low ng mL−1 in equine urine after solid-phase extraction. Quaternary ammonium drugs were extracted from equine urine by solid-phase extraction using ISOLUTE® CBA SPE Columns and analysed by LC-MS-MS in the positive electrospray ionisation mode. Separation of twenty quaternary ammonium drugs (the quaternary ammonium ions of edrophonium chloride, pyridostigmine bromide, neostigmine bromide, bretylium tosylate, ipratropium bromide, tubocurarine chloride, N-butylscopolammonium bromide, mepenzolate bromide, rocuronium bromide, clidinium bromide, pipenzolate bromide, isopropamide iodide, glycopyrronium bromide, alcuronium chloride, oxyphenonium bromide, propantheline bromide, tridihexethyl chloride, vecuronium bromide, mivacurium chloride and pancuronium bromide) was achieved in a reversed phase column with a mixture of aqueous ammonium formate (pH 3.0, 10 mM) and acetonitrile as the mobile phase. Detection and confirmation of the twenty quaternary ammonium drugs at about 5 ng mL−1 in equine urine could be achieved within 22 min using product-ion scan MS-MS. The target analytes were detected by examination of extracted-ion chromatograms of their product ions. Drugs spiked in different equine urine (n = 15) were consistently detected. Negative samples (n = 30) of normal post-race equine urine have also been analysed, no matrix interference at the targeted masses and retention times was observed. The method was successfully applied to the analyses of drug-administration samples. Other method validation data including reproducibility and recovery will also be presented. An LC-MS-MS method for the simultaneous detection and confirmation of twenty quaternary ammonium drugs in equine urine was developed. The methodology should be applicable to other biological matrices such as human urine.


Column liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry Anticholinergic agents Quaternary ammonium drugs in equine urine 


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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg&Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • K.C.H. Yiu
    • 1
  • E.N.M. Ho
    • 1
  • T.S.M. Wan
    • 1
  1. 1.Racing LaboratoryThe Hong Kong Jockey ClubHong KongChina

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