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Title: Forensic and clinical toxicology studies focusing on drug analysis in hair and other biological matrices
Author: Al Jaber, Jaber
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Clinical and forensic toxicology analysts rely heavily in their daily tests on the analysis of the conventional samples (blood and urine). However, these specimens are limited in the time scale they reflect with regard to drug intake history and also in terms of drug stability within the matrices. Alternative matrices such as hair, oral fluids and dried blood spots (DBS) provide new horizons and new opportunities. Drugs incorporated within hair are very stable. Hair also provides a very long detection window, for at least one year, if not a lot longer. Oral fluids on the other hand are non-intrusive, easy to collect and much cleaner sample matrix than blood or urine. DBS also offer great drug stability, are easy to collect, faster to analyse and suitable for automated analysis. However, a number of studies are needed to assess the limits of these alternative samples in terms of the correlation of their results with the results of conventional samples and with regard to drug stability. Such studies will enable a more reliable and confident interpretation of results obtained from these matrices especially for medico-legal purposes. The main aims of this research were: to develop and validate analytical methods for detection and quantitation of drugs of use and abuse in hair, oral fluids, blood and DBS samples, to investigate the correlation between dose and drug concentration in hair, blood and oral fluids after controlled chronic drug administration, to investigate the stability of anti-psychotic drugs in DBS (from patients) stored under different conditions and the effect of addition of preservative, and to investigate the alcohol intake prevalence among Kuwaiti drug addicts and correlate these results with selfreported intake. As the majority of drugs were basic, an extraction method based on methanolic incubation was developed for detection of basic/weak basic drugs in hair. It was compared to alkaline digestion (with NaOH) followed by liquid-liquid extraction (LLE). Detection was achieved by LC-MS/MS (Sciex2000) after separation on a C18 column. When applying both methods on positive authentic hair samples the results showed that the methanolic method was capable of extracting most basic drugs in hair but only partially, while the alkaline digestion method was found to degrade V some unstable drugs like sulpiride, but was capable of fully extracting the alkaline stable drugs such as quetiapine. After development and validation of the LLE-LC-MS(Exactive) method for the analysis of anti-psychotics in blood, oral fluids and hair, an investigation was carried out on the correlation pattern between trough concentrations in those three matrices. The most significant correlation coefficients (r) found were those between blood and hair concentrations, procyclidine r=0.83 (18 subjects p=<0.001), risperidone r=0.96 (14 subjects p=<0.001), haloperidol r=0.90 (10 subjects p=<0.001), OH-risperidone r=0.24 (13 subjects p=>0.44), quetiapine r=0.28 (14 subjects p=>0.33) and chlorprothixene r=0.32 (13 subjects p=>0.32). Among the interesting results was the strong correlation found between drugs half-lives and the mean ratio of hair concentration/dose (r=0.96, p=<0.003). The stability of anti-pyschotics in DBS from patients’ samples was assessed by storing them at four different temperatures (25, 4, -20 and -80°C) with and without prior impregnation of the DBS cards with sodium fluoride. After development and validation of the LLE-LC-MS method, samples were analysed at days 0, 45, 90 and 180. Results showed good stability of all the compounds (procyclidine, quetiapine, risperidone, OH-risperidone, chlorprothixene and haloperidol) in all the different storage conditions and no significant increase or decrease in drug concentrations with sodium fluoride impregnation. Finally, after trials with five different HPLC columns, two SPE cartridges, two LLE extraction procedures and two mass spectrometer instruments, a method was developed and validated for the detection and quantitation of alcohol’s minor and specific metabolite in hair, ethyl glucuronide (EtG). The method has a limit of detection (LOD) of 3pg/mg and lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) of 9pg/mg. This method was applied to 59 hair samples from patients at a general addiction centre and alcohol prevalence was investigated and its correlation with self-reported use was investigated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Kuwait University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Clinical Pharmacology ; Forensic science ; Hair analysis ; Drugs testing