Volume 60 (2018) Issue 2 Pages 140-147
Objectives: N,N-Dimethylacetamide (DMAC) is widely used in industry as a solvent. It can be absorbed through human skin. Therefore, it is necessary to determine exposure to DMAC via biological monitoring. However, the precision of traditional gas chromatography (GC) is low due to the thermal decomposition of metabolites in the high-temperature GC injection port. To overcome this problem, we have developed a new method for the simultaneous separation and quantification of urinary DMAC metabolites using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Methods: Urine samples were diluted 10-fold in formic acid, and 1-μl aliquots were injected into the LC-MS/MS equipment. A C18 reverse-phase Octa Decyl Silyl (ODS) column was used as the analytical column, and the mobile phase consisted of a mixture of methanol and aqueous formic acid solution. Results: Urinary concentrations of DMAC and its known metabolites (N-hydroxymethyl-N-methylacetamide (DMAC-OH), N-methylacetamide (NMAC), and S- (acetamidomethyl) mercapturic acid (AMMA) ) were determined in a single run. The dynamic ranges of the calibration curves were 0.05-5 mg/l (r≥0.999) for all four compounds. The limits of detection for DMAC, DMAC-OH, NMAC, and AMMA in urine were 0.04, 0.02, 0.05, and 0.02 mg/l, respectively. Within-run accuracies were 96.5%-109.6% with relative standard deviations of precision being 3.43%-10.31%. Conclusions: The results demonstrated that the proposed method could successfully quantify low concentrations of DMAC and its metabolites with high precision. Hence, this method is useful for evaluating DMAC exposure. In addition, this method can be used to examine metabolite behaviors in human bodies after exposure and to select appropriate biomarkers.