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J Chromatogr A. 2009 Jan 16;1216(3):385-93. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2008.10.113. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

A sensitive method for determination of a broad range of perfluorinated compounds in serum suitable for large-scale human biomonitoring.

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  • 1Division of Environmental Medicine, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404, Nydalen, NO-0403 Oslo, Norway.


A sensitive and reliable method based on column switching liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS) has been developed for quantification of 19 perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in serum. A volume of only 150microl serum is used and protein precipitation by methanol is the only sample preparation necessary prior to injection into the column switching system. Pseudo-MRM is used as a detection mode for determination of PFCs, resulting in reduced background noise and considerably increased sensitivity for the perfluorinated alkyl sulfonates and the perfluorinated alkyl sulfonamides. The estimated limits of detection for the method were as low as 0.0020-0.050ngPFCs/ml serum. The accuracy determined from spiking experiments, reported as recovery of added amount, was between 85 and 121% in the range 0.20-50ngPFC/ml serum, except for perfluorodecylsulfonate for which the accuracy was 146% at 0.20ngPFC/ml serum. The low sample volume needed, the limited manual handling and the broad range of analytes which are included, make this method advantageous for large-scale epidemiological studies. This column-switching technique can easily be set up on standard LC-MS/MS instruments and is thus available to a wide range of laboratories.

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