Journal Published Online: 01 March 1999
Volume 44, Issue 2

Detection of Anabolic Steroids in Head Hair



We developed a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry method for detection and quantitation of anabolic steroids in head hair. Following alkaline digestion and solid-phase extraction, the MO-TMS derivatives gave a specific fragmentation pattern with EI ionization. For stanozolol, the TMS-HFBA derivative showed several diagnostic ions. For androstanolone, mestanolone (methylandrostanolone), and oxymetholone two chromatographic peaks for cis and trans isomers of derivatives were seen. Recoveries were 35 to 45% for androstanolone, oxymetholone, chlorotestoster-one-acetate, dehydromethyltestosterone, dehydrotestosterone, fluoxymesterone, mestanolone, methyltestosterone, and nandrolone; 52% for mesterolone, trenbolone; 65% for bolasterone; 24% for methenolone and 17% for stanozolol. Limits of detection were 0.002 to 0.05 ng/mg and of quantitation were 0.02 to 0.1 ng/mg. Seven white male steroid abusers provided head hair samples (10 to 63 mg) and urine. In the hair samples, methyltestosterone was detected in two (confirmed in urine); nandrolone in two (also confirmed in urine); dehydromethyltestosterone in four (but not found in urine); and clenbuterol in one (but not in urine). Oxymethalone was found in urine in one, but not in the hair. One abuser had high levels of testosterone: 0.15 ng/mg hair, and 1190 ng/mL urine. We conclude that head hair analysis has considerable potential for the detection and monitoring of steroid abuse.

Author Information

Deng, X-S
University of Dundee, The Royal Infirmary, Dundee, Scotland, U.K.
Kurosu, A
University of Dundee, The Royal Infirmary, Dundee, Scotland, U.K.
Pounder, DJ
University of Dundee, The Royal Infirmary, Dundee, Scotland, U.K.
Pages: 4
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Stock #: JFS14460J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS14460J