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Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Assay to Detect Ethyl Glucuronide in Human Fingernail: Comparison to Hair and Gender Differences

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DOI: 10.4236/ajac.2012.31012    5,749 Downloads   11,029 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Over the past decade, the use of hair specimens for the long-term detection of the alcohol biomarker ethyl glucuronide has been increasing in popularity and usage. We evaluated the usefulness of fingernail clippings as a suitable alterna-tive to hair for ethyl glucuronide detection. A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the detection of ethyl glucuronide in fingernail clippings was fully validated and used to analyze the hair and/or fingernail specimens of 606 college-aged study participants. The limit of detection was 2 pg/mg, the limit of quantitation was 8 pg/mg and the method was linear from 8 to 2000 pg/mg. Intra- and inter-assay imprecision studies at three different concentrations (20, 40, 200 pg/mg) were all within 7.8% and all intra- and inter-assay bias studies at these levels were within 115.1% of target concentration. Ethyl glucuronide levels in fingernail (mean = 29.1 ± 55.6 pg/mg) were higher than ethyl glucuronide levels in hair (mean = 9.48 ± 22.3 pg/mg) and a correlation of the matched pairs was observed (r = 0.552, P < 0.01, n = 529). Evaluating each gender separately revealed that the correlation of male fingernail to male hair was large and significant (r = 0.782, P < 0.01, n = 195) while female hair to female fingernail was small yet sig-nificant (r = 0.249, P < 0.01, n = 334). The study results demonstrated that fingernail may be a suitable alternative to hair for ethyl glucuronide detection and may be the preferred sample type due to the lack of a gender bias.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

J. Jones, M. Jones, C. Plate, D. Lewis, M. Fendrich, L. Berger and D. Fuhrmann, "Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Assay to Detect Ethyl Glucuronide in Human Fingernail: Comparison to Hair and Gender Differences," American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2012, pp. 83-91. doi: 10.4236/ajac.2012.31012.

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