Epiandrosterone sulfate prolongs the detectability of testosterone, 4‐androstenedione, and dihydrotestosterone misuse by means of carbon isotope ratio mass spectrometry

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Oct 27, 2017
  • Author: Thomas Piper, Marlen Putz, Wilhelm Schänzer, Valentin Pop, Malcolm D. McLeod, Dimanthi R. Uduwela, Bradley J. Stevenson, Mario Thevis
  • Journal: Drug Testing and Analysis

In the course of investigations into the metabolism of testosterone (T) by means of deuterated T and hydrogen isotope ratio mass spectrometry, a pronounced influence of the oral administration of T on sulfoconjugated steroid metabolites was observed. Especially in case of epiandrosterone sulfate (EPIA_S), the contribution of exogenous T to the urinary metabolite was traceable up to 8 days after a single oral dose of 40 mg of T. These findings initiated follow‐up studies on the capability of EPIA_S to extend the detection of T and T analogue misuse by carbon isotope ratio (CIR) mass spectrometry in sports drug testing.

Excretion study urine samples obtained after transdermal application of T and after oral administration of 4‐androstenedione, dihydrotestosterone, and EPIA were investigated regarding urinary concentrations and CIR. With each administered steroid, EPIA_S was significantly depleted and prolonged the detectability when compared to routinely used steroidal target compounds by a factor of 2 to 5.

In order to simplify the sample preparation procedure for sulfoconjugated compounds, enzymatic cleavage by Pseudomonas aeruginosa arylsulfatase was tested and implemented into CIR measurements for the first time. Further simplification was achieved by employing multidimensional gas chromatography to ensure the required peak purity for CIR determinations, instead of sample purification strategies using liquid chromatographic fractionation.

Taking into account these results that demonstrate the unique and broad applicability of EPIA_S for the detection of illicit administrations of T or T‐related steroids, careful consideration of how this steroid can be implemented into routine doping control analysis appears warranted. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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