Optimization of a rapid capillary electrophoresis ESI-IT tandem mass spectrometry method for the analysis of short-chain carnitines in human plasma

Desiderio, Claudia; De Rossi, Antonella; Inzitari, Rosanna; Mancinelli, Angelo; Rossetti, Diana Valeria; Castagnola, Massimo; Messana, Irene
March 2008
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2008, Vol. 390 Issue 6, p1637
Academic Journal
A capillary electrophoresis (CE) method coupled to electrospray ionization ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-IT-MS/MS) is described for the rapid analysis of carnitine, acetylcarnitine, and propionylcarnitine in human plasma. Optimization of the procedure was achieved by a reduced sample pretreatment and after examining several physicochemical parameters that influence both the CE separation and the MS analytes detection. The analysis of total carnitine in human plasma after hydrolysis of short-chain metabolites is also shown. The analysis of carnitine and metabolites was obtained in less than 10 min using a 200 mM ammonium formate buffer, pH 2.5, with high sensitivity and specificity using the MS detection in product ion scan mode. The method was tested for quantitative recovery using dialyzed human plasma as matrix and showed linearity in the concentrations ranges 20–160, 1–32, and 0.25–8 μM for carnitine, acetylcarnitine, and propionylcarnitine with (squared) correlation coefficients of 0.9984, 0.9995, and 0.9991, respectively. The intraday and intermediate analysis repeatability and accuracy are within 15% of relative standard deviation (RSD) at low, medium, and high concentration and within/or slight exceeding 20% at the lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ). The method is sensitive for determining carnitine and its metabolites in human plasma with high specificity.


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