Analysis of dried blood spots is a feasible alternative for detecting ephedrine in doping control

Sara Amalie Solheim, Andreas Thomas, Thomas Kamm Ringsted, Mario Thevis, Andreas Breenfeldt Andersen, Henrik Holm-Sørensen, Nikolai B Nordsborg, Jakob Mørkeberg

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Dried blood spot (DBS) testing allows fast, easy and minimally invasive collection of microvolumes of blood. In an anti-doping context, DBS testing has particular relevance for substances prohibited in-competition only such as ephedrine, which is currently detected by urine analysis, because DBS can add information about the blood drug concentrations during the in-competition period. Several collection methods and devices exist for DBS collection from different anatomical sites. Thus, agreements between concentrations of target analytes in DBS samples from different sampling sites, along with between DBS and those in conventional venous plasma samples, need to be evaluated. Herein, we collected matched upper-arm DBS, fingerprick DBS and venous plasma samples from eight healthy male subjects in an 8-h period following oral administrations of 20 mg ('low dose') and 60 mg ('high dose') of ephedrine. We show that the use of alternative sampling sites and matrices is a feasible possibility for ephedrine analysis in doping control. We observed very good agreement between collection sites and that specificity and sensitivity can be upheld despite use of an alternative collection site. However, potential concentration differences between DBS and venous plasma should be considered, and distinct threshold might be necessary if implementing both blood matrices in ephedrine analysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug testing and analysis
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1685-1695
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Research areas and keywords

  • Blood Specimen Collection/methods
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing/methods
  • Ephedrine
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plasma
  • Substance Abuse Detection


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