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Quantitative Method for the Analysis of Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines in Cigarette Tobacco and Mainstream Cigarette Smoke by Use of Isotope Dilution Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 15.02.2008, 00:00 by Jingcun Wu, Peter Joza, Mehran Sharifi, William S. Rickert, John H. Lauterbach
An improved liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC−MS/MS) method has been developed for the determination of tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA). It utilizes four stable isotope-labeled internal standards instead of two as reported by others. A separate internal standard for each analyte is required to minimize sample matrix effects on each analyte, which can lead to poor analyte recoveries and decreases in method accuracy and precision if only one or two of the internal standards are used, especially for complex sample matrixes and when no sample cleanup steps are performed as in this study. In addition, two ion-transition pairs (instead of one) are used for each analyte for the confirmation and quantification, further enhancing the method's accuracy and robustness. These improvements have led to a new LC−MS/MS method that is faster, more sensitive, and selective than the traditional methods and more accurate and robust than the published LC−MS/MS methods. The linear range of the method was from 0.2 to 250 ng/mL with a limit of detection of each TSNA varied from 0.027 to 0.049 ng/mL. Good correlations between the results obtained by the new method and the traditional method were observed for the samples studied.