Time-resolved hair analysis of MDMA enantiomers by GC/MS-NCI

L.F. Martins*, M. Yegles, N. Samyn, J.G. Ramaekers, R. Wennig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of the study was to determine the enantioselective disposition of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and other amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in segmented hair specimens of self-declared ecstasy abusers, who took part in a double-blind placebo-controlled six-way crossover study during approximately 7 weeks, during which they received a 75 and a 100 mg dose of racemic MDMA twice. Hair specimens were washed and cut into pieces of 2 cm length. After digestion and solid phase extraction, the enantiomers were derivatized with a chiral agent (2S,4R)-N-heptafluorobutyryl-4-heptafluorobutoyloxy-prolyl chloride, developed at the authors laboratory and quantified by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry operating in the negative chemical ionization mode. Most of the hair specimens that were tested positive for MDMA showed a predominance of the (R)-enantiomer. The R/S ratios of MDMA varied between 1.02 and 2.75 and total concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 20.1 ng/mg. The enantiomers of its metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) were also quantified in most hair segments. The R/S ratios of MDA varied between 0.60 and 1.60, while the concentrations of the enantiomers ranged from 10 to 160 pg/mg hair. When segmental analysis was performed on single hair specimens, no inversion of the R versus S ratios of MDMA and MDA was observed. The predominance of (R)-MDMA in hair was in accordance with those already published for other matrices. Furthermore, both enantiomers of amphetamine (AM) were also detected in hair segments of four volunteers and the R/S ratios ranged from 1.00 to 1.47.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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