Fast and sensitive liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry assay for seven androgenic and progestagenic steroids in human serum.

Research paper by Pekka P Keski-Rahkonen, Kaisa K Huhtinen, Matti M Poutanen, Seppo S Auriola

Indexed on: 21 Jun '11Published on: 21 Jun '11Published in: The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


A fast and sensitive LC-MS/MS method for the quantitative analysis of seven steroid hormones in 150 μl of human serum was developed and validated. The following compounds were included: 17α-hydroxypregnenolone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, testosterone, pregnenolone, and progesterone. Individual stable isotope-labeled analogues were used as internal standards. Sample preparation was performed by liquid-liquid extraction, followed by oxime derivatization to improve the ionization efficiency of the analytes. In contrast to the common derivatization-based methods, the reaction was incorporated into the sample preparation process and the only additional step due to the derivatization was a short heating of the autosampler vials before the sample injection. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a reversed-phase column using a methanol-water gradient. For the analyte detection, a triple quadrupole instrument with electrospray ionization was used. Total run time was 7.0 min and the lower limits of quantification were in the range of 0.03-0.34 nM (0.01-0.10 ng/ml), depending on the analyte. The method was validated using human serum samples from both sexes and applied for the serum steroid profiling of endometriosis patients.