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Morbidity Involving the Hallucinogenic Designer Amines MDA and 2C-I

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A case is presented of a 39-year-old woman who suffered severe debilitation because of a hemorrhagic stroke in the context of substance abuse. The patient presented to the emergency room with rapidly diminishing mental status, hypertension, and vasoconstriction; her friends provided a history of ingestion of cocaine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and 2C-I, a novel designer amine. A multi-targeted LC-MS/MS method for sympathomimetic amines and related drugs in urine detected and quantified 2C-I and MDA, while ruling out MDMA. The cause of the stroke was determined to be an underlying cerebrovascular abnormality called Moyamoya, secondary to substance abuse. In clinical laboratories, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) confirmation of a positive amphetamine immunoassay is usually directed only towards amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA and MDA. This report demonstrates the utility of testing for a wider menu of compounds using LC-MS/MS in order to better characterize the prevalence and toxicities of novel amines such as 2C-I.
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Keywords: 2C-I; MDA; Moyamoya; forensic science; hemorrhagic stroke; liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California—San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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