Validation of multi-residue methods for the detection of anabolic steroids by GC-MS in muscle tissues and urine samples from cattle†
The use of anabolic steroids is prohibited in the European Community by Directive 96/22/EC and the control of compliance is regulated by Directive 96/23/EC. Multi-residue methods are necessary for screening for the use of forbidden substances. Because accreditation is gaining more and more importance, validation of the methods used and of the results obtained has become indispensable. The developed GC-MS methods for the detection of anabolic steroids in urine and muscle tissue were validated with regard to the following parameters: specificity, recovery at the 2 µg kg–1 level and limit of detection. For urine the recoveries ranged from 17 to 81% and for muscle tissue from 26 to 65%. The limit of detection ranged from 0.1 to 2.6 µg kg–1 for urine and from 0.3 to 4.6 µg kg–1 for muscle tissue. Specificity was guaranteed in both matrices by the selection of four specific ions. Blank samples were evaluated for interferences and it could be concluded that in no case did the four selected ions appear simultaneously at the correct retention time. The practicability of the criteria for low resolution mass spectrometry set in Decision 93/256 in the low µg kg–1 range is also briefly discussed.