Determination of total mycophenolic acid and its glucuronide metabolite using liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and unbound mycophenolic acid using tandem mass spectrometry

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Two simple, sensitive and reproducible methods for determination of total mycophenolic acid (MPA) and its glucuronide metabolite (MPAG) as well as unbound MPA (fMPA) was developed by the use of HPLC-UV and LC-MS/MS methods, respectively. For the total MPA/MPAG method, the analytes were extracted using Isolute C 2 solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridges and analyzed at 254 nm over a Zorbax Rx C 8 column (150 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 μm). The mobile phase was a gradient mixture of methanol and water (containing 0.1% (v/v) phosphoric acid). The total run time was 18 min and the extraction recovery was 77% for MPA and 84% for MPAG. The method was precise and accurate with a lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) of 0.5 mg/l for MPA and 5.0 mg/l for MPAG. For the fMPA method, plasma was subjected to ultrafiltration followed by SPE using C 18 cartridges. Analytical column was the same as the HPLC-UV method and the mobile phase was a gradient composition of methanol:0.05% formic acid with a flow rate of 0.6 ml/min for the first 3 min and 0.7 ml for the last 4 min. The chromatographic method separated MPA from its metabolites MPAG and Acyl-MPAG. Mass transitions in negative ionization mode for MPA and the internal standard, indomethacin were m/z: 319 → 190.9 and m/z: 356 → 312.2, respectively. The assay was linear in the concentration range of 1-1000 μg/l for fMPA with a LLOQ of 1 μg/l and an accuracy of >95%. The two methods reported have an adequate degree of robustness and dynamic concentration range for the measurement of MPA, MPAG and fMPA for therapeutic drug monitoring purposes or pharmacokinetics investigations. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences