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Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry in Clinical Chemistry

Clinical Chemistry

  1. Roger L. Bertholf PhD

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0532

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Bertholf, R. L. 2006. Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry in Clinical Chemistry. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Automated spectrophotometric, electrochemical, and immunochemical analyses have become the mainstays of clinical chemistry and toxicology laboratory services, but their scope is limited. A wide array of clinically relevant analytes demand more sophisticated analytical techniques to provide sensitive and specific assays for diagnostic purposes. Gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) are becoming cost-effective alternatives for many of these challenging assays. GC is a robust technique that offers the ability to resolve volatile components of a complex mixture. MS provides structural information that can unambiguously identify a compound. In combination, these two techniques provide qualitative and quantitative answers to many difficult analytical problems. GC and MS applications have been developed for a variety of clinical analytes, and the use of these methods has created new and exciting frontiers for clinical laboratory medicine. Several clinical applications of these analytical techniques will be discussed in this chapter.