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J Lipid Res. 2005 Jan;46(1):21-6. Epub 2004 Oct 16.

Rapid quantification of free and esterified phytosterols in human serum using APPI-LC-MS/MS.

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  • 1Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry, and Molecular Diagnostics, University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.


A novel analytical platform based on liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry using atmospheric pressure photoionization was applied for the simultaneous quantification of free and esterified beta-sitosterol, campesterol, brassicasterol, and stigmasterol. The total time for sample pretreatment and analysis could be reduced from approximately 3 h [gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)] to 15 min. The detection limits of the different phytosterols ranged between 0.25 and 0.68 microg/l. Linear ranges were between 1 and 1,000 microg/l. The within-run and between-run variabilities ranged between 1.4% and 9.9%. The analytical sensitivity was at least 150-fold higher compared with GC-MS. Our new method allows a rapid and simultaneous determination of free and esterified phytosterols in serum.

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