A Complete Forensic Toxicology Screening Procedure for Drugs and Toxic Compounds in Urine and Plasma Using LC-MS/MS
Forensic toxicology laboratories commonly use automated immunoassays, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high pressure liquid chromatography-diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) techniques to perform toxicology screening analyses. None of these techniques are able to identify all the drugs and toxic compounds that are potentially present in a sample. Implementation of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for forensic toxicology screening provides specific and sensitive analysis of drugs and toxic substances. The benefits of the LC-MS/MS screening methodology include a simple sample preparation procedure, ease of adding new compounds to the screening method and fewer limitations based on compound volatility and thermal stability. In addition, Thermo Scientific ToxID automated toxicology screening software is able to automatically generate both Summary and Long Reports, avoiding the need for manual analysis of each sample chromatogram. This application note describes the use of the Thermo Scientific LXQ ion trap mass spectrometer equipped with an ESI source and HPLC for identification of unknown compounds in urine and plasma for clinical research and forensics.