MSACL Conference Schedule

Quantitation of Tetramine in Urine
Mon 4:00 PM - Session: Environment and Chemical Disaster
Elizabeth Hamelin
Tetramethylene disulfotetramine (C4H8N4O4S2) commonly known as tetramine is a highly toxic poison used to control mice and rodents. Tetramine has been the causative agent in intentional and unintentional human poisonings and suicides. In response to these incidents and future poisonings, we have developed a rapid method for the quantitation of tetramine in human urine to assess exposure.

Previous methods have been developed for the determination of tetramine in both urine and blood using gas chromatography coupled with nitrogen phosphorus, flame ionization and mass selective detectors (1-3). Although these methods accurately detect tetramine, sample throughput is limited; therefore, a method with higher throughput is needed.

Initial studies indicate that both extraction and concentration steps are necessary to reach the desired detection limits. Solid phase extraction, using 96 well plate technology, with mixed mode reverse phase sorbent has been successfully coupled with GC/MSD with a linear response from 5 ppb to 1000 ppb in pooled urine. Additional studies will be performed to ensure the recovery of known spiked urine samples, to evaluate any potential interference present in a representative population and to determine repeatability and robustness of the analysis method.

(1) Luan, T., G. Li, et al. (2000). "Rapid detection of tetramethylenedisulfotetramine in human blood by solid-phase microextraction/gas chromatography." Analytica Chimica Acta 404: 329-334.
(2) Guan, F.-Y., Y.-t. Liu, et al. (1993). "GC/MS Identification of Tetramine in Samples from Human Alimentary Intoxication and Evaluation of Artificial Carbonic Kidneys for the Treatment of the Victims." Journal of Analytical Toxicology 17(July/August): 199-201.
(3) Jing, S., Z.-s. Yu, et al. (1994). "Determination of Tetramine in Postmortem Specimens by GC-NPD." Journal of Analytical Toxicology 18(September): 275-277.