The quantitative analysis of the chiral volatile anesthetic isoflurane (1) for biomedical applications by means of enantioselective gas chromatography (mass sensitive detector, selected ion monitoring) was studied. Two methods for the quantification of the enantiomers in blood samples drawn during and after narcosis were compared. Either the isomeric enflurane (2) was selected as an internal standard or a single enantiomer of 1 was used for the standard addition method, an approach referred to as 'enantiomer labeling'. Concentrations up to 0.3 μmol/l of the single enantiomers could be differentiated two days after anesthesia. The presented data imply that the body clearance for (+)-(S)-1 and (-)-(R)-1 proceeds to a measurable degree of enantioselectivity. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
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