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Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 400, Issue 2, pp 423–433 | Cite as

Development and validation of a sensitive, simple, and rapid method for simultaneous quantitation of atorvastatin and its acid and lactone metabolites by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)

  • Joyce S. Macwan
  • Ileana A. Ionita
  • Miroslav Dostalek
  • Fatemeh AkhlaghiEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The aim of the proposed work was to develop and validate a simple and sensitive assay for the analysis of atorvastatin (ATV) acid, ortho- and para-hydroxy-ATV, ATV lactone, and ortho- and para-hydroxy-ATV lactone in human plasma using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. All six analytes and corresponding deuterium (d5)-labeled internal standards were extracted from 50 μL of human plasma by protein precipitation. The chromatographic separation of analytes was achieved using a Zorbax-SB Phenyl column (2.1 mm × 100 mm, 3.5 μm). The mobile phase consisted of a gradient mixture of 0.1% v/v glacial acetic acid in 10% v/v methanol in water (solvent A) and 40% v/v methanol in acetonitrile (solvent B). All analytes including ortho- and para-hydroxy metabolites were baseline-separated within 7.0 min using a flow rate of 0.35 mL/min. Mass spectrometry detection was carried out in positive electrospray ionization mode, with multiple-reaction monitoring scan. The calibration curves for all analytes were linear (R 2 ≥ 0.9975, n = 3) over the concentration range of 0.05–100 ng/mL and with lower limit of quantitation of 0.05 ng/mL. Mean extraction recoveries ranged between 88.6–111%. Intra- and inter-run mean percent accuracy were between 85–115% and percent imprecision was ≤ 15%. Stability studies revealed that ATV acid and lactone forms were stable in plasma during bench top (6 h on ice-water slurry), at the end of three successive freeze and thaw cycles and at −80 °C for 3 months. The method was successfully applied in a clinical study to determine concentrations of ATV and its metabolites over 12 h post-dose in patients receiving atorvastatin.

Figure

Chromatogram of atorvastatin and metabolites obtained with postcolumn infusion shows no matrix effect at the retention times of analytes and IS. Arrow indicates region where the signal of compounds infused post-column is suppressed during the elution of endogenous matrix components

Keywords

Assay Atorvastatin Concentration Lactones LC-MS/MS Metabolites Pharmacokinetics 

Abbreviations

ATV

Atorvastatin acid

Cmax

Peak plasma concentration

CYP3A4

Cytochrome P450 3A4

HMG-CoA

3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A

HPLC

High-performance liquid chromatography

HQC

High-level quality control

IS

Internal standard

LC-MS/MS

Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

LLOQ

Lower limit of quantitation

LQC

Low-level quality control

MRM

Multiple-reaction monitoring

PK

Pharmacokinetics

QCs

Quality control samples

S/N

Signal-to-noise ratio

UGTs

UDP-glucuronosyltransferase

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of American Heart Association award #0855761D. Use of an API 4000 mass spectrometer provided as a collaboration agreement with AB Sciex is gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce S. Macwan
    • 1
  • Ileana A. Ionita
    • 1
  • Miroslav Dostalek
    • 1
  • Fatemeh Akhlaghi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Clinical Pharmacokinetics Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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