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Rapid and sensitive HILIC–MS/MS analysis of carnitine and acetylcarnitine in biological fluids

Isaguirre, Andrea C., Olsina, Roberto A., Martinez, Luis D., Lapierre, Alicia V., Cerutti, Soledad
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2013 v.405 no.23 pp. 7397-7404
blood serum, carnitine, detection limit, hydrophilicity, ionization, liquid chromatography, monitoring, tandem mass spectrometry, urine
Monitoring carnitine and acetylcarnitine levels in biological fluids is a powerful tool for diagnostic studies. Research has recently shown that the analysis of carnitine and related compounds in clinical samples can be accomplished by different analytical approaches. Because of the polar and ionic nature of the analytes and matrix complexity, accurate quantitation is a highly challenging task. Thus, sample processing factors, preparation/cleanup procedures, and chromatographic/ionization/detection parameters were evaluated. On the basis of the results obtained, a rapid, selective, sensitive method based on hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry for the analysis of carnitine and acetylcarnitine in serum and urine samples is proposed. The matrix effect was assessed. The proposed approach was validated, the limits of detection were in the nanomolar range, and carnitine and acetylcarnitine levels were found within the micromolar range in both types of sample.