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Excretion and Detection of Cathinone, Cathine, and Phenylpropanolamine in Urine after Kath Chewing

Excretion and Detection of Cathinone, Cathine, and Phenylpropanolamine in Urine after Kath Chewing

  1. Seaquake
    Introduction: The stimulating herbal drug kath is uncommon in most countries, and information on its detection and interpretation of analytical results is limited.
    Therefore, a study with kath was carried out to compare the efficiencies of different analytical techniques used to detect drug use.

    Methods: Four volunteers chewed kath leaves for 1 h; urine samples were collected up to 80 h afterward and analyzed by the Abbott fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA), the Mahsan-AMP300 on-site immunoassay, the Bio-Rad Remedi HS HPLC system with photodiode array detection (DAD), and gas chromatography– mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

    Results: FPIA gave negative results, whereas positive results were obtained with the Mahsan test during the first day. With HPLC, one peak could be observed up to 50 h, but its DAD spectrum could not be identified by the system. Further investigations indicated that the kath alkaloids coeluted and produced a mixed DAD spectrum. With GC-MS, the specific kath ingredient cathinone was detected up to 26 h, whereas cathine and norephedrine were still detectable in the last samples. Maximum concentrations of cathinone, cathine, and norephedrine in urine samples from the study were 2.5, 20, and 30 mg/L, respectively, whereas in authentic cases the concentrations were much higher.
    Conclusion: GC-MS is superior to the screening techniques Mahsan-AMP300 and Remedi with respect to specificity and sensitivity for the detection of kath use in urine.
    © 2002 American Association for Clinical Chemistry