Determination of heroin and its metabolites by high-performance liquid chromatography

Jason G. Umans, Thomas S.K. Chiu, Robert A. Lipman, Michael F. Schultz, Seung Uon Shin, Charles E. Inturrisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


A method is described for the simultaneous determination of heroin (3,6-diacetylmorphine, DAM) and its two active metabolites 6-acetylmorphine and morphine in blood by high-performance liquid chromatography using a normal-phase column and a UV detector at 218 nm. The compounds are stabilized in blood by rapid freezing and recovered by a multistep liquid-liquid extraction. The mobile phase is acetonitrile-methanol (75:25, v/v) buffered to apparent pH 7 with ammonium hydroxide and acetic acid. Using l-α-acetylmethadol as an internal standard, UV detection and a 1-ml biofluid sample, the lower limit of sensitivity is 12.5 ng/ml. Commonly used narcotic analgesics including codeine, propoxyphene, meperidine, methadone and levorphanol do not interfere with the analysis. The method has been applied to blood samples from humans and rats. Extracts of blood from a patient who had received an intravenous dose of 14 mg of DAM contained DAM and both of its active metabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-225
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Biomedical Sciences and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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