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J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Nov;39(11):4026-31.

Analysis of bacterial vaginosis-related amines in vaginal fluid by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Health and Environment, Linköpings Universitet, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden. helwo@ifm.liu.se


The presence of various amines in vaginal fluid from women with malodorous vaginal discharge has been reported before. The investigations have used several techniques to identify the amines. However, an optimized quantification, together with a sensitive analysis method in connection with a diagnostic procedure for vaginal discharge, including the syndrome of bacterial vaginosis, as defined by the accepted "gold standard," has not been done before. We now report a sensitive gas chromatographic and mass spectrometric method for identifying the amines isobutylamine, phenethylamine, putrescine, cadaverine, and tyramine in vaginal fluid. We used weighted samples of vaginal fluid to obtain a correct quantification. In addition, a proper diagnosis was obtained using Gram-stained smears of the vaginal fluid that were Nugent scored according to the method of Nugent et al. (R. P. Nugent et al., J. Clin. Microbiol., 29:297-301, 1991). We found that putrescine, cadaverine, and tyramine occurred in high concentrations in vaginal fluid from 24 women with Nugent scores between 7 and 10. These amines either were not found or were found only in very low concentrations in vaginal fluid from women with Nugent scores of 0 to 3. There is a strong correlation between bacterial vaginosis and the presence of putrescine, cadaverine, and tyramine in high concentrations in vaginal fluid.

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