Enhanced UHPLC-MS/MS screening of selective androgen receptor modulators following urine hydrolysis

Anna Gadaj*, Emiliano Ventura*, Jim Healy, Francesco Botrè, Saskia S. Sterk, Tom Buckley, Mark H. Mooney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) represent non-steroidal agents commonly abused in human and animal (i.e. equine, canine) sports, with potential for further misuse as growth promoting agents in livestock-based farming. As a direct response to the real and possible implications of illicit application in both sport as well as food production systems, this study incorporated enzymatic hydrolysis (β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase) into a previously established protocol while maintaining the minimal volume (200 µL) of urine sample required to detect SARMs encompassing various pharmacophores in urine from a range of species (i.e. equine, bovine, human, canine and rodent). The newly presented semi-quantitative UHPLC-MS/MS-based assay is shown to be fit-for-purpose, being rapid and offering high-throughput, with validation findings fulfilling criteria stipulated within relevant doping and food control legislation. • CCβ values determined at 1 ng mL−1 for majority of analytes. • Deconjugation step included in the method led to significantly increased relative abundance of ostarine in analysed incurred urine samples demonstrating the requirement for hydrolysis to detect a total form of emerging SARMs. • Assay amenable for use within routine testing to ensure fair play in animal and human sports and that animal-derived food is free from contamination with SARM residues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100926
    Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2020


    • Doping analysis
    • Food safety
    • Hydrolysis
    • SARMs
    • UHPLC-MS/MS-based screening of SARMs following urine hydrolysis
    • Urine


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