Author(s): Zhang Q, Simpson J, Aboleneen HI
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Abstract Tacrolimus (FK 506) measurement by immunoassays in clinical samples of organ transplant patients often lacks a specific reference method. A method combining liquid chromatography (LC) with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) was developed to quantify tacrolimus in whole blood. Liquid-liquid extraction was performed on 1 ml of sample before narrow-bore LC/MS/MS analysis. Ascomycin was used as an internal standard. The standard curve was composed of seven points ranging from 1 to 50 micrograms/l (average r2 = 0.9999). Limits of detection and quantitation were 0.25 and 0.75 microgram/l, respectively. Imprecision was < 5\% across the therapeutic range. Tacrolimus recovery averaged 62\%. The most abundant metabolites detected in clinical samples were 13-O- and 15-O-demethyl tacrolimus. This method was used in a comparison study with a microparticle enzyme immunoassay (MEIA): MEIA = 1.03 LC/MS/MS -0.084 (microgram/l), (Sy/x = 1.43), r2 = 0.933. With its high sensitivity and specificity, this LC/MS/MS method presents a good reference method for immunoassay evaluation as well as a valuable tool for metabolism studies.
This article was published in Ther Drug Monit
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques