Simultaneous determination of thirteen different steroid hormones using micro UHPLC-MS/MS with on-line SPE system

Zoltán Márta, Balázs Bobály, J. Fekete, Balázs Magda, T. Imre, Katalin Viola Mészáros, Mária Bálint, P. Szabó

Research output: Article

7 Citations (Scopus)


Ultratrace analysis of sample components requires excellent analytical performance in terms of limits of quantitation (LOQ). Micro UHPLC coupled to sensitive tandem mass spectrometry provides state of the art solution for such analytical problems. Using on-line SPE with column switching on a micro UHPLC–MS/MS system allowed to decrease LOQ without any complex sample preparation protocol. The presented method is capable of reaching satisfactory low LOQ values for analysis of thirteen different steroid molecules from human plasma without the most commonly used off-line SPE or compound derivatization. Steroids were determined by using two simple sample preparation methods, based on lower and higher plasma steroid concentrations. In the first method, higher analyte concentrations were directly determined after protein precipitation with methanol. The organic phase obtained from the precipitation was diluted with water and directly injected into the LC–MS system. In the second method, low steroid levels were determined by concentrating the organic phase after steroid extraction. In this case, analytes were extracted with ethyl acetate and reconstituted in 90/10 water/acetonitrile following evaporation to dryness. This step provided much lower LOQs, outperforming previously published values. The method has been validated and subsequently applied to clinical laboratory measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-267
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Publication statusPublished - febr. 20 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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