Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Determination of Cyanide in Blood by Isotope Dilution Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Published

Author(s)

Karen E. Murphy, Michele M. Schantz, Therese A. Butler, Bruce A. Benner Jr, Laura J. Wood, Gregory C. Turk

Abstract

A procedure based on isotope dilution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (ID GC/MS) has been developed for the accurate and rapid determination of cyanide (CN) in whole blood. A known amount of isotopically labeled potassium cyanide (K13C15N) is added as the internal standard to 0.5 g whole blood in a headspace vial. Hydrogen cyanide is generated through the addition of phosphoric acid and after 5 min incubation; 0.5 mL of the headspace is injected into the GC/MS at 15 C oven temperature. The acid addition, incubation and injection steps have been fully automated. The peak areas of CN from the sample, 1H12C14N+ at m/z = 27 and the internal standard 1H13C15N+ at m/z = 29 are measured using single ion monitoring and the CN concentration in the sample is quantified by ID. The CN analysis takes less than 15 min. per sample. Accuracy of the procedure is demonstrated by measuring the CN content of unfrozen whole blood samples fortified with a known amount of CN. Reproducibility is demonstrated by periodic analyses over a fourteen month span. Results at the 0.6 g/g CN and 1.5 g/g CN levels show a reproducibility of 2.0 % (1s, n = 15) and 2.4 % (1s, n = 15), respectively. The average deviation from the known value for the two levels is less than 2 %. Results at the 0.06 g/g CN level were more variable, but still deviate on average less than 2.5 % from the known value. This method is suitable for forensic and clinical applications.
Citation
Clinical Chemistry

Keywords

blood, cyanide, gas chromatography, head space, isotope dilution, mass spectrometry

Citation

Murphy, K. , Schantz, M. , Butler, T. , Benner, B. , Wood, L. and Turk, G. (2006), Determination of Cyanide in Blood by Isotope Dilution Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Clinical Chemistry, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=832100 (Accessed August 7, 2022)
Created March 31, 2006, Updated March 22, 2017