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Development of a method using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for profiling of oil-based androgenic anabolic steroid products

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A GC–MS based analytical method was developed for the profiling of oil-based AAS products using 15 organic constituents as target compounds. A total of 219 compounds were identified in 109 seized AAS products, among them 15 target compounds were selected. The selection was based on each compound's occurrence, reproducibility, and variance between products. The 15 target compounds did not include the active steroid itself, but only compounds found in the carrier oil. The subsequent method validation included assessment of specificity, linearity, precision, robustness and sample stability. The method was finally applied for the classification of a set of 27 seizures of AAS products supplied by the police. The classification was based on the Pearson correlation coefficient using pre-treated peak area data from the 15 target compounds. A successful classification was obtained, with only a small overlap between linked and unlinked samples. A 1% false-positive rate could be obtained at a threshold of 0.625 in terms of the Pearson distance. The present study thus demonstrates that it is possible to profile and classify AAS products with regard to a common origin. As the profiling method is not specific with regards to the steroid content, it may potentially be used to profile and compare other kinds of oil-based liquids.
Original languageEnglish
Article number460989
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS), Drug profiling, Forensic chemistry, Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS)

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