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Clin Chim Acta. 2006 Feb;364(1-2):180-7. Epub 2005 Sep 28.

Quantitative determination of guanidinoacetate and creatine in dried blood spot by flow injection analysis-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Patologia, Universit√† di Roma La Sapienza, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Roma, Italy.



Guanidinoacetate (GAA) and creatine (Cr) are reliable biochemical markers of primary creatine disorders. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a method for the determination of GAA and Cr in dried blood spot through the use of stable isotope dilution and flow injection analysis (FIA)-ESI-MS/MS.


Dried blood spots were extracted using methanol-water solution containing D3-Cr. After evaporation and formation of butyl esters, samples were analyzed using multiple reaction monitoring mode (m/z 174.2-->101.1 for GAA, 188.3-->90.1 for Cr and 191.3-->93.1 for D3-Cr).


The analysis was very fast (1 min). The detection limits were 0.34 micromol/l of blood and 0.30 micromol/l of blood for Cr and GAA, respectively, and the response was linear over the range 0.25-12.5 micromol/l of blood for GAA and 3.57-624.7 micromol/l of blood for Cr. Recovery range was 93-101% for Cr and 94-105% for GAA and between-run CVs were 5.3% for GAA and 4.5% for Cr. Ion suppression effect was also studied. The method was applied to spots obtained from two patients affected by GAMT deficiency, four patients affected by AGAT deficiency (including a newborn) as well as 282 healthy subjects.


The detection of GAA in dried blood spot by FIA-ESI-MS/MS is a highly reliable and high throughput method for the diagnosis of GAMT and AGAT deficiencies and a possible tool for newborn screening of both these tractable disorders.

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