Direct Urinanalysis of Steroids

01 January 2011 → 31 December 2013
Funding by bilateral agreement (private and foundations)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Systems biology
urinalysis steroid
Project description

Anabolic steroids are the most frequently detected prohibited substances in

sports. Analysis for these substances is routinely

performed using gas



mass spectrometry (GCMS) and liquid chromatography

mass spectrometry (LC


MS). Although the detection capabilities of LC


MS are

limited for the detection of steroids with androstanediol as a back bone to

their structure,



MS is often more sensitive for many other steroids.

Moreover, recently several publications have shown that LC


MS can detect

steroids (glucuronides) directly in urine without any sample preparation.

The advantages for such a direct urinalysis are multi


fold. It reduces costs,

required volume of sample and analysis time, but also it allows for the direct

detection of intact conjugated steroids rather than the liberated steroid

molecules after hydrolysis.

In the past several small scale attempts have bee

n made to detect these

intact steroid conjugates in urine. These attempts were quite successful, but

did not meet WADA’s minimum required performance limits. Recently

however several scientific improvements have been made, including more

sensitive instrume

nts, optimized mobile phase compositions (e.g. methanol

instead of acetonitrile), which now allow for the detection of several steroids

well below WADA’s MRPL. These preliminary results (e.g. 19



glucuronide) show that the direct urinalysis

of steroid conjugates at

concentrations at or below the MRPL is achievable.