Simultaneous determination of six Aconitum alkaloids in proprietary Chinese medicines by high-performance liquid chromatography

Ying Xie, Zhi Hong Jiang, Hua Zhou, Xi Xu Hong, Liang Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


By optimizing the extraction, separation and analytical conditions, a reliable and accurate high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method coupled with photodiode array detector (DAD) was developed for simultaneous quantitative determination of six Aconitum alkaloids, i.e., aconitine, mesaconitine, hypaconitine, benzoylaconine, benzoylmesaconine and benzoylhypaconine, in Chinese medicinal herbs, aconite roots, and 12 proprietary Chinese medicines containing processed aconite roots. The separation of these Aconitum alkaloids was achieved on an ODS column with gradient elution using solvents of acetonitrile and ammonium bicarbonate buffer (pH 10.0 ± 0.2). Intra-assay and inter-assay precision of the analytes were less than 2.97%, and the average recovery rates obtained were in the range of 90-103% for all with RSDs below 3.28%. Good linear relationships were showed with correlation coefficients for the analytes exceeded 0.999. Quantitative analysis of the six Aconitum alkaloids in the unprocessed and processed aconite roots and in twelve proprietary Chinese medicines containing processed aconite roots showed that the contents of the alkaloids varied significantly. This method and quantitation results can provide a scientific and technical platform to the products manufacturers for setting up a quality control standard as well as to the public for quality and safety assurance of the proprietary Chinese medicines and other herbal preparations containing aconite roots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Aconite roots
  • Aconitum alkaloids
  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • Proprietary Chinese medicines
  • Quantitative analysis


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