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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Electron-capture gas chromatography of plasma sulphonylureas after extractive methylation.

Conditions for the extractive alkylation of eight sulphonylurea hypoglycemic drugs have been evaluated. Extractive methylation of the compounds was achieved within 90 min using tetrabutylammonium as counter-ion (0.1 M at pH = 6.9) with 5% methyl iodide in dichloro-methane as organic phase. Mass spectral analysis showed derivatives methylated at the sulphonamide nitrogen. A higher pH or use of tetrapentylammonium as counter-ion caused hydrolysis of the sulphonylureas. The derivatives showed a high electron-capture response with minimum concentrations detectable in the range 1-4 x 10(-16) moles sec-1. Therapeutic plasma concentrations of glipzide and tolbutamide were determined by direct extractive methylation of the compounds from the plasma sample. The glipizide derivative was determined by electron-capture gas chromatography down to about 20 ng/ml in a 0.5-ml plasma sample. The relative standard deviation at the 0.2 microgram/ml level of glipizide was 6% (n = 6). The corresponding figure in the determination of tolbutamide at the 10 microgram/ml level was 3% (n = 10).[1]


  1. Electron-capture gas chromatography of plasma sulphonylureas after extractive methylation. Hartvig, P., Fagerlund, C., Gyllenhaal, O. J. Chromatogr. (1980) [Pubmed]
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