Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM vol:20 issue:20 pages:3101-10
A selective reversed-phase liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS(n)) method was developed for the characterization of components of the semi-synthetic macrolide clarithromycin. Mass spectral data were acquired online on a LCQ ion trap mass spectrometer equipped with an electrospray ionization source operated in the positive ion mode. One unknown compound was structurally elucidated and two other unknowns were characterized using the MS/MS and MS(n) collision-induced dissociation spectra of reference substances as interpretative templates, combined with knowledge of the nature of functional group fragmentation behaviour. Given the importance attached to the identification of impurities of unknown identity in pharmaceutical substances, this study is useful for companies producing clarithromycin.