Depletion of clomiphene residues in eggs and muscle after oral administration to laying hens

Luisa Seyerlein, Nathalie Gillard, Philippe Delahaut, Gilles Pierret, Andreas Thomas, Mario Thevis

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


The selective oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM) clomiphene is therapeutically used to induce ovulation. While prohibited as a doping agent in sports, it is frequently detected in sports drug testing urine samples. Few reports exist on clomiphene's (illicit) use in the farming industry to increase the egg production rate of laying hens, which creates a risk that eggs as well as edible tissue of these hens contain residues of clomiphene. To investigate the potential transfer of clomiphene into eggs and muscle tissue, laying hens were orally administered with clomiphene citrate at 10 mg/day for 28 days. To determine clomiphene residues in eggs, chicken breast and chicken thigh, the target analyte was extracted from homogenised material with acetonitrile and subjected to ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) analysis. The test method reached a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 1 µg/kg and was characterised concerning specificity, precision, trueness and linearity. Analyses were performed on whole egg, egg white and yolk separately, and chicken muscle from breast and thigh. Clomiphene was detectable in eggs two days after the beginning of the drug administration period. The drug concentrations increased to 10-20 µg per egg within one week, and after withdrawal of clomiphene, residues decreased after 4 days, but traces of clomiphene were still detectable until the end of the study (14 days after the last administration). In the chicken's muscle tissue, clomiphene levels up to 150 µg/kg (thigh) and 36 µg/kg (breast) were found. Six days after the last dose, tissue clomiphene concentrations fell below the LOQ. Overall, these results underline the concerns that clomiphene may be transferred into animal-derived food and future research will therefore need to focus on assessing and minimising the risk of unintentional adverse analytical findings in doping controls.

ZeitschriftFood additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment
Seiten (von - bis)1875-1882
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 11.2021


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