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J Lipid Res. 2006 Sep;47(9):2089-96. Epub 2006 Jun 20.

Measurement of serum total glycerides and free glycerol by high-performance liquid chromatography.

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Beijing Hospital Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing, 100730 China.


Serum levels of total glycerides and free glycerol are important indices of lipid metabolism and cardiovascular disease risk. Convenient enzymatic methods of measurement have been available, but they are susceptible to interference. Situations exist in both research and clinical laboratories in which more specific and precise methods are needed. We developed HPLC methods for the measurement of serum total glycerides and free glycerol. For total glycerides, serum was mixed with an internal standard (1,2,4-butanetriol) and treated with alcoholic sodium hydroxide to hydrolyze glycerides to glycerol. After deproteinization with tungstic acid, the glycerol was benzoylated with an optimized Schotten-Baumann reaction and analyzed by HPLC. For free glycerol, serum was equilibrated with the internal standard and deproteinized with tungstic acid to remove the glycerides. The glycerol was benzoylated and analyzed as for total glycerol. Various factors were investigated, and no significant sources of interference were detected. The total coefficients of variation ranged from 0.7% to 2.0% for total glycerides and from 1.7% to 3.2% for free glycerol. The analytical recoveries ranged from 98.5% to 101.6%. In conclusion, simple and reliable HPLC methods for serum total glycerides and free glycerol have been developed. The methods may also be used for the analyses of glycerol or glycerides in other biological samples.

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