LC–MS/MS method for quantification of baclofen in hair: A useful tool to assess compliance in alcohol dependent patients?

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Nov 17, 2017
  • Author: I.A. Larabi, N. Fabresse, A. Knapp, M. Forcet, F.J. Baud, G. Lorin de la Grandmaison, J.C. Alvarez
  • Journal: Drug Testing and Analysis


To evaluate adherence to treatment, we developed and validated a novel liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method for baclofen quantification in hair.Twenty mg was washed twice with dichloromethane, incubated in phosphate buffer (pH 5) for 10 minutes at 95°C, then extracted by liquid‐liquid extraction in alkaline condition. Baclofen‐d4 was used as the internal standard. This method was applied to assess compliance in4 treated alcohol‐dependent patients (3 dead and one living). Blood quantification of baclofen and ethanol were performed in the 4 cases. Hair ethylglucuronide (ethanol metabolite, EtG) measurement (2x3 cm) was associated in 1 patient. Baclofen quantification in hair was validated over the range 10–5000 pg/mg. The accuracy was within 96.0%–110.9% and the precision was less than 9.3%. Baclofen segmental (3x2cm) hair concentrations found in the living patient were 4420, 4260, and 4380 pg/mg, reflecting a regular exposure over the last 6 months and suggesting patient compliance. However, the high EtG level found in this patient in the analyzed segments (225 pg/mg and 215 pg/mg) showed excessive alcohol consumption during the same period, suggesting therapeutic failure. In the 3 deceased patients, the non‐segmental analysis of hair showed baclofen concentrations of 15, 545, and 2475 pg/mg. The low concentrations in the 2 first cases are compatible either with a poor compliance or to a beginning of a treatment. This is the first measurement of baclofen in hair of alcohol dependent patients. It could be used as a monitoring biomarker to assess patient's compliance.

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