November 1st 2005
Because of progress in liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/TOF-MS) instrumentation, data processing and reporting, the measurement of compounds' accurate masses is becoming routine practice in screening analysis based on target databases. As such databases of monoisotopic masses can be easily updated with recent data from the literature; rapid characterization of new compounds and metabolites is possible without the need for primary reference standards. This approach has already been established in comprehensive toxicological urine screening and in analysis of drugs-of-abuse in seized street drug samples. Currently, a mass accuracy within 5 ppm can be routinely achieved, and confirmation via a numerical isotopic pattern match (SigmaFit) is provided by a new generation LC/TOF-MS instrument.