Basal plasma-catecholamine-level determination using HPLC-ED and different sample cleanup techniques
Reversed phase HPLC with electrochemical detection was used for the determination of basal adrenaline, dopamine and noradrenaline levels in human plasma. These compounds demonstrated good stability during different stages of collection and long-term storage.
Using a new electrochemical detector and improving mobile phase parameters, we obtained a detection limit of 2 pg per injection. Good separation of dihydroxyphenylacetic acid was also attained, which is important in investigations with intensive care patients.
Good accuracy and precision, demonstrated in the daily quality control measurements taken over a five month period, verified the reliability of the chromatographic separation.
However, there was a decrease in the recovery of very low amounts of catecholamines, added to fresh frozen plasma that had previously been made catecholamine-free. According to the widely-accepted extraction method of Anton and Sayre, it is argued that the un-known affinity of catecholamines to acid-prepared aluminium oxide (in comparison to catecholamine —protein binding constants) explains the low accuracy in measurement at very low plasma levels. We thus compared this sample preparation method to recently published extraction procedures.
Key WordsBasal catecholamine plasma levels HPLC with electrochemical detection Picogram-detection limit Sample cleanup
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