A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was developed and validated for simultaneous determination of four aconitines (aconitine, mesaconitine, hypaconitine, jesaconitine) and seven of their hydrolysis products (benzoylmesaconine, benzoylhypaconine, 14-O-anisoylaconine, benzoylaconine, aconine, mesaconine, hypaconine) in human serum and urine samples. Extraction was undertaken using a mixed-mode cation-exchange cartridge (OASIS MCX), and D 5-aconitine was used as an internal standard. Separation of aconitum alkaloids was carried out using an L-column ODS with the mobile phase consisting of 10mM ammonium formate and methanol. The intra- and inter-day precisions were 0.3% to 9.9% and 3.2% to 12.8%, respectively. Intra- and inter-day accuracies were -14.1% to 7.3%, and -10.6% to 8.3%, respectively. The limit of detection and limit of quantification of analytes were 0.04-0.38ng/mL and 0.12-1.15ng/mL respectively. This method was applied in an autopsy case and successfully detected aconitines and their metabolites as well as some anti-psychiatric drugs.
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