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J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1997 Apr 11;691(2):478-82.

Determination of propofol in rat whole blood and plasma by high-performance liquid chromatography.

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Department of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


A simple, accurate and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic method was developed for the determination of propofol, an intravenous anaesthetic agent, in rat whole blood or plasma samples. The method is based on precipitation of the protein in the biological fluid sample and direct injection of the supernatant into an HPLC system involving a C18 reversed-phase column using a methanol-water (70:30) mobile phase delivered at 1 ml/min. Propofol and the internal standard (4-tert.-octylphenol) were quantified using a fluorescence detector set at 276 nm (excitation) and 310 nm (emission). The analyte and internal standard had retention times of 6.3 and 10.5 min, respectively. The limit of quantification for propofol was 50 ng/ml using 100 microl of whole blood or plasma sample. Calibration curves were linear (r2=0.99) over a 1-10 microg/ml concentration range and intra- and inter-day precision were between 4-11%. The assay was applied to the determination of propofol whole blood pharmacokinetics and propofol whole blood to plasma distribution ratios in rats.

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