Determination of ketamine and its main metabolites by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry in pig plasma: Comparison of extraction methods

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HIGHLIGHTSKetamine and its metabolites were quantified in pig plasma by LC–MS/MS.The method was fully validated for all compounds according to EMA guidelines.Comparison of different extraction processes.The method was successfully applied to samples after buccal ketamine administration.The sensibility of the method was enough to determine low concentration of metabolites using low volume samples.A rapid, sensitive and specific liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method was developed for the simultaneous quantification pig plasma of ketamine and its two principal metabolites, norketamine and dehydronorketamine. Three extraction procoles were assessed including acetonitrile precipitation, Oase™ microplate extraction, and liquid–liquid extraction. Oase™ microplate extraction induced no significant matrix effect, important signal/noise ratio and good recoveries, ranging from 82 to 87% for the considered compounds. Using this extraction procedure, the assay was linear in the dynamic range 10–3000 ng/mL (R2 > 0.99) regardless of the analytes. Intra- and inter-day accuracies were less than 12% for all compounds and intra- and inter-day precisions expressed as RSD were within <9.9%. Samples were stable in different storage conditions. High ketamine, norketamine and dehydronorketamine concentrations up to 15,000 ng/mL can be determined with good precision using appropriate sample dilution. The assay was successfully applied to pig plasma samples to determine the pharmacokinetics of ketamine and the consecutive metabolites after buccal administration of a 4 mg/kg ketamine base solutions.

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