2018 Volume 12 Issue 2 Pages 201-207
An economical, rapid, and sensitive method of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was developed and validated to determine the presence of six pesticides (dichlorvos, acetochlor, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, α-endosulfan, and β-endosulfan) in human plasma. The pesticides were extracted with acetonitrile and concentrated using anhydrous sodium sulfate. Then, the target compounds were analyzed and quantified with GC-MS using borneol as an internal standard. Separation was performed on a HP-5MS capillary column (30 m × 0.25 mm × 0.25 µm) with temperature programming. Detection was accomplished under electro-spray ionization (ESI) in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. Under optimized conditions, satisfactory linear ranges of 0.05-10 μg/mL were obtained for all of the analyzed pesticides. The linear correlation coefficients were greater than 0.99. The average recovery was between 86.8 and 106.5%. The inter- and intra-day precision ranged from 1.7-14.5% and 4.2-13.8%, respectively. Dichlorvos was unstable in plasma both at room temperature and when frozen. The other five pesticides were stable after storage at – 20°C for 17 days and two freeze-thaw cycles. Thirty-five plasma samples from 15 patients with acute self-poisoning were analyzed using this method. Dichlorvos was found in 13 plasma samples with a mean concentration of 0.289 μg/mL, and atrazine was found in 6 with a mean concentration of 0.261 μg/mL. Acetochlor was found in one plasma sample (0.153 μg/mL). This method is simple, reliable and cost-effective. It takes little time and does not waste solvents, and it can be used to routinely detect six pesticides in patients with acute poisoning.