A simple qualitive procedure for the detection of chloroquine in urine for use in clinical analytical toxicology in resource poor settings

  • D Tagwireyi
  • LL Gadaga
  • ED Ball
  • CFB Nhachi


Objective: To develop and validate a simple procedure for the qualitative determination of chloroquine in urine with potential for use in developing countries lacking sophisticated analytical equipment and expensive reagents.

Design: This was a laboratory based study making use of which combines a colorimetric test, Dill-Glazko's test, and UV/Visible absorbance spectrometry to confirm the presence of chloroquine. The spectrophotometric method was cross validated with the standard Baselt's method for quantification of chloroquine in biological fluids.

Setting: Pharmacology laboratory at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe.

Main Outcome Measures: Recovery of the methods was assessed by comparing the peak absorbances and the resolution of the peaks at 329nm and 343nm. Sensitivity and specificity was determined by analysing in a blinded manner. The limits of detection of both the Dill-Glazko's test and the confirmatory test was determined.

Results: In the prevalidation procedures increasing the volume of the ethylacetate and the volume of the lower aqueous layer extracted was found to increase the recovery of the confirmatory test. There was a significant difference between both the peak absorbances and the peak resolution for the two methods (p<0.0001). The confirmatory test had a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 100%, whereas the Baselt's method had a sensitivity of 83.3% and a specificity of 96.7%. The limit of detection of the Dill-Glazko's test was 15mg/Land that of the confirmatory test was 5mg/L.

Conclusions: The confirmatory test had better recovery and was more sensitivity compared with the Baselt's method. The limit of detection of the combination method (Dill-Glazko's plus confirmatory test) was 15mg/L. The combination test showed appreciable sensitivity to be suitable for application to clinical


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eISSN: 0008-9176