Gas chromatography with electron impact mass spectrometry and selelcted ion monitoring provided a simple and sensitive method for measuring organophosphorus compounds sarin and the two isomers of soman (isomer I and isomer II) in blood. These compounds were extracted from blood or isotonic saline usng a modification of the method developed by Sass et al. Blood was deproteinized with perchloric acid before extraction. The acid-induced degradation of the organophosphorus compounds could be minimized by neutralizing the acid immediately after deproteinizing. In saline and blood, 81% of the extractable soman and 74% of the extractable sarin was recovered with a single extraction. The overall recovery of added organophosphorus was less in blood than in saline because of the binding of organophosphorus to blood constituents, probably various enzymes and proteins. A time-dependent decrease in extractable organophosphorus was found in whole blood but not in saline. Although soman isomer II was degraded in blood faster than soman isomer I, no significant difference in the affinities of these two isomers to acetylcholinesterase was observed.
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