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Frison G, Zamengo L, Zancanaro F, Tisato F, Traldi P. 
“Characterization of the designer drug deschloroketamine (2-methylamino-2-phenylcyclohexanone) by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry, multistage mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance”. 
Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2016 Jan 15;30(1):151-60.
Abstract

RATIONALE: Clinical and forensic toxicology laboratories are challenged every day by the analytical aspects of the new psychoactive substances phenomenon. In this study we describe the analytical characterization of a new ketamine derivative, deschloroketamine (2-methylamino-2-phenylcyclohexanone), contained in seized powders.

METHODS: The analytical techniques employed include gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization coupled with Orbitrap high-resolution/MS (LC/ESI-HRMS), multistage MS (ESI-MS(n) ), and NMR. The LC/ESI-HRMS analyses consisted of accurate mass measurements of MH(+) ions in full-scan mode; comparison of experimental and calculated MH(+) isotopic patterns; and examination of the isotopic fine structure (IFS) of the M + 1, M + 2, M + 3 isotopic peaks relative to the monoisotopic M + 0 peak. The collision-induced product ions of the MH(+) ions were studied by both HRMS and MS(n) . (1) H and (13) C NMR measurements were carried out to confirm the chemical structure of the analyte.

RESULTS: The EI mass spectra obtained by GC/MS analysis showed the presence of molecular ions at m/z 203, and main fragment ions at m/z 175, 174, 160, 147, 146, and 132. The application of LC/ESI-HRMS allowed us to obtain: the accurate mass of deschloroketamine MH(+) ions with a mass accuracy of 1.47 ppm; fully superimposable experimental and calculated MH(+) isotopic patterns, with a relative isotopic abundance value of 3.69 ; and the IFS of the M + 1, M + 2, M + 3 isotopic peaks completely in accordance with theoretical values. Examination of the product ions of MH(+) , as well as the study of both (1) H and (13) C NMR spectra, enabled the full characterization of the molecular structure of deschloroketamine.

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of the employed analytical techniques allowed the characterization of the seized psychoactive substance, in spite of the lack of a reference standard. Deschloroketamine is a ketamine analogue considered to be more potent and longer lasting than ketamine, and this paper is probably the first to report on its analytical characterization. Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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