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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2010 Oct 1;878(27):2616-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2010.02.010. Epub 2010 Feb 16.

Evaluation of Alternate Isotope-Coded Derivatization Assay (AIDA) in the LC-MS/MS analysis of aldehydes in exhaled breath condensate.

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National Institute of Occupational Safety and Prevention (ISPESL), Research Center at the University of Parma, Italy.


We present the application of a novel isotope dilution method, named Alternate Isotope-Coded Derivatization Assay (AIDA), to the quantitative analysis of hydrazone derivatives of malondialdehyde (MDA) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) samples using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. AIDA is based on the alternate derivatization of the analyte(s) with reagents that are available in two pure isotopic forms, respectively "light" and "heavy", by using light-derivatized standards for the quantification of the heavy-derivatized analytes, and vice versa. To this purpose, 2,4-dinitro-3,5,6-trideuterophenylhydrazine (d(3)-DNPH) has been synthesized and used as "heavy" reagent in combination with commercial "light" DNPH. Using the AIDA method, any unknown concentration of the analyte in the matrix can be calculated without the need of a calibration curve. An external calibration method has been also investigated for comparative purpose. The stability of DNPH and d(3)-DNPH derivatives was verified by excluding any exchange of hydrazones with each other. In the range of concentrations of biological interest, e.g., 2-40 nM for MDA and 0.5-10 nM for 4-HNE, the derivatization reactions of MDA and 4-HNE with DNPH and d(3)-DNPH showed overlapping kinetics and comparable yields. The MS response of both DNPH and d(3)-DNPH hydrazones was similar. The precision of AIDA, calculated as %RSD, was within 3.2-8% for MDA and 4.5-11% for 4-HNE. Accuracy was tested by analyzing a spiked EBC pool sample and acceptable results (accuracy within 98-108% for MDA and 93-114% for 4-HNE) were obtained by AIDA after subtraction of the blank, which was not negligible. The results of quantitative analysis of MDA and 4-HNE in EBC samples obtained by AIDA assay with four analyses per sample were in good agreement with those obtained by external calibration method on the same samples.

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