Critical evaluation of a high-throughput analytical method for polychlorinated biphenyls in human serum: Which detector for the establishment of the reference values?

Roberta Turci, Giulio Mariani, Alessandro Marinaccio, Claudio Balducci, Maurizio Bettinelli, Roberto Fanelli, Simona Nichetti, Claudio Minoia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A rapid screening method, previously developed and validated for the determination of 60 PCB congeners in human serum by using high-resolution gas chromatography coupled with low-resolution mass spectrometry, was applied to the establishment of the reference values in the general population. The reliability of this method was further confirmed by analyzing ten serum samples, obtained from the same population group involved in the original study, by electron impact ionization with either low- or high-resolution mass spectrometry. Analyses in electron capture negative ionization mode were also performed for the determination of 'dioxin-like' isomers. The data were found to be in good accordance with one another, especially for the congeners of highest environmental significance. Then, 162 real serum samples were analyzed for the presence of PCBs. Comparison with the results from other studies reported in the literature showed that a similar profile was observed; the most abundant congeners were #153, #180, #138 and #170. A statistical analysis was performed to determine whether there were significant correlations between PCB concentrations and specific variables such as age, gender, and dietary habits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-434
Number of pages14
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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