alexa Clinical steroid mass spectrometry: a 45-year history culminating in HPLC-MS MS becoming an essential tool for patient diagnosis.
Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Mass Spectrometry & Purification Techniques

Author(s): Shackleton C

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Abstract Automated rapid HPLC tandem mass spectrometry has become the method of choice for clinical steroid analysis. It is replacing immunoassay techniques in most instances because it has high sensitivity, better reproducibility, greater specificity and can be used to analyze multiple steroids simultaneously. Modern multiplex instruments can analyze thousands of samples per month so even with high instrument costs the price of individual assays can be affordable. The mass spectrometry of steroids goes back decades; the first on-line chromatography/mass spectrometry methods for hormone analysis date to the 1960s. This paper reviews the evolution of mass spectrometric techniques applied to sterol and steroid measurement There have been three eras: (1) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS), (2) Fast Atom Bombardment (FAB) and (3) HPLC/MS. The first technique is only suitable for unconjugated steroids, the second for conjugated, and the third equally useful for free or conjugated. FAB transformed biological mass spectrometry in the 1980s but in the end was an interim technique; GC/MS retains unique qualities but is unsuited to commercial routine analysis, while LC-MS/MS is rightly stealing the show and has become the dominant method for steroid analysis in endocrinology. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol and referenced in Mass Spectrometry & Purification Techniques

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