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Determination of the glucocorticoids prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, and cortisol in human serum using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

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Core Analytical Laboratory, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacotherapy Research Center, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260-1200, USA.


Glucocorticoids are an important component of immunosuppressive therapy for solid organ transplantation. A method to quantitate prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone and cortisol in human serum has been developed. Analysis is performed utilizing reversed-phase liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. The method was validated to a lower limit of quantitation of 5.4 ng/ml for prednisone and cortisol, and 10.7 ng/ml for dexamethasone and prednisolone, with error below 7% at the lower limits. The between-day relative standard deviations ranged 2.9-7.1%. Comparison of cortisol analysis to an established method using clinical samples yielded differences below 15% for 26 of 28 determinations.

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