BACKGROUND: The limits of chromatographic speed and mechanical frontend capabilities have been reached for many high-volume liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) tests, curtailing the maximal achievable sample throughput. To overcome these boundaries, we developed and validated a derivatization-based sample-multiplex LC-MS/MS assay for detection of 25-hydroxyvitamins D2 and D3 [25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3], which increased sample throughput 5-fold.
METHODS: After separate derivatization with one of 5 different triazoline-diones (TADs), 5 calibrators, controls, or patient specimens were combined and injected together into an LC-MS/MS. On the basis of mass differences between TADs, the MS/MS quantified analyte and stable isotope internal standards for 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 for each respective multiplexed sample within the injection. Limits of detection and quantification, spiked recovery, linearity, imprecision, and patient results were determined and compared against our standard LC-MS/MS assay.
RESULTS: TAD multiplexing increased throughput on an LC-quadruplexed LC-MS/MS system from 60 samples/h to 300 samples/h. Limits of detection and quantification were 4.9 nmol/L [2 μ g/L, 25(OH)D2], 2.2 nmol/L [0.9 μ g/L, 25(OH)D3], and 10 nmol/L [4 μ g/L, 25(OH)D2], 5 nmol/L [2 μ g/L, 25(OH)D3], respectively. The assay was linear to 250 nmol/L (100 μ g/L). Interassay CVs across the reportable range were 3.7%–15.2%. Spiked recoveries were 94%–119%. The method comparison with the standard LC-MS/MS method showed slopes of 0.96 and 0.97 (Deming regression) for 25(OH)D2 (n = 1733) and 25(OH)D3 (n = 7614) (R2=0.96 and 0.97), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Multiplexing samples by differential mass tagging in LC-MS/MS measurement of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 allows for reliable quantification, with throughput increased over standard methods by the multiplexing factor.
- Received for publication September 24, 2010.
- Accepted for publication December 17, 2010.
- © 2011 The American Association for Clinical Chemistry