This laboratory frequently receives samples that are suspected of being gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), its lactone, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), or a mixture of the two. We have developed an HPLC/UV-VIS spectrophotometric method for the separation and quantitation of GHB and GBL in illegal preparations that are available on the black market. The estimated detection limit is 50 ng injected onto the column. We are also reporting a simple and fast HPLC/thermospray mass spectrometric method for the confirmation of these compounds in illegal preparations. The characteristic mass spectrum for each compound could be obtained from as low as a 5 µg injection.
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