Determination of lovastatin in human plasma by ultra-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry

Dong Wang, Dongmei Wang, Feng Qin, Lingyun Chen, Famei Li
Biomedical Chromatography: BMC 2008, 22 (5): 511-8
A fast and sensitive ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method was developed for the determination of lovastatin in human plasma. With simvastatin as internal standard, sample pretreatment involved one-step extraction with n-hexane-methylene dichloride-isopropanol (20:10:1, v/v/v) of 0.5 mL plasma. Chromatographic separation was carried out on an Acquity UPLC BEH C(18) column with mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile-water (containing 5 mmol/L ammonium acetate; 85:15, v/v) at a flow-rate of 0.35 mL/min. The detection was performed on a triple-quadrupole tandem mass spectrometer by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) via electrospray ionization source with positive mode. The analysis time was shorter than 1.7 min per sample. The standard curve was linear (r2>or=0.99) over the concentration range 0.025-50.0 ng/mL with a lower limit of quantification of 0.025 ng/mL. The intra- and inter-day precision values were below 11% and the accuracy (relative error) was within 6.0% at three quality control levels. This is the first method of MS with MRM coupled to UPLC for the determination of lovastatin, which showed great advantages of high sensitivity, selectivity and high sample throughput. It was fully validated and successfully applied to the pharmacokinetic study of lovastatin tablets in healthy Chinese male volunteers after oral administration.

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