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Analysis of Desomorphine in Urine Using Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry

NCJ Number
Journal of Analytical Toxicology Volume: 43 Issue: 5 Dated: 2019 Pages: 340-345
Jessica Winborn; Sarah Kerrigan
Date Published
6 pages

This article reports on the development and validation of a sensitive analytical method for detecting desomorphine to assist with identification efforts.


Desomorphine is a primary component of the drug Krokodil. Although reports of Krokodil-use continue to appear in the literature, analytically confirmed cases remain scarce. This may be due to trends in geographical use and limited published analytical methodology to detect its use. Solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry were used to quantitatively identify desomorphine in urine. An isotopically labeled analog was used as the internal standard. Assay performance was evaluated in accordance with published guidelines. The extraction efficiency for desomorphine in urine was 90 percent, and limits of detection and quantitation were 0.5 ng/ml. The calibration range of the assay was 0.5-500 ng/mL. Bias ranged from 1 percent to 2 percent (n = 15), and the intra- and inter-assay CVs were 2-3 percent (n = 3) and 32-6 percent (n = 15), respectively. Ion suppression was -20 percent and -10 percent at low and high concentrations, respectively. Interferences were assessed using common drugs, including 24 opioids and structurally related compounds. Using this approach, the quantitative analysis of desomorphine in urine is described at forensically relevant concentrations. (publisher abstract modified)