A sensitive analytical method for the determination of tetrodotoxin (TTX) in urine and plasma matrices was developed using double solid phase extraction (C18 and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography) and subsequent analysis by HPLC coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. The double SPE sample cleanup efficiently reduced matrix and ion suppression effects. Together with the use of ion pair reagent in the mobile phase, isocratic elution became possible which enabled a shorter analysis time of 5.5 min per sample. The assay results were linear up to 500 ng mL-1 for urine and 20 ng mL-1 for plasma. The limit of detection and limit of quantification were 0.13 ng mL -1 and 2.5 ng mL-1, respectively, for both biological matrices. Recoveries were in the range of 75-81%. To eliminate the effect of dehydration and variations in urinary output, urinary creatinine-adjustment was made. TTX was quantified in eight urine samples and seven plasma samples from eight patients suspected of having TTX poisoning. TTX was detected in all urine samples, with concentrations ranging from 17.6 to 460.5 ng mL-1, but was not detected in any of the plasma samples. The creatinine-adjusted TTX concentration in urine (ranging from 7.4 to 41.1 ng μmol-1 creatinine) correlated well with the degree of poisoning as observed from clinical symptoms.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography
- Ion suppression