Comparison of matrix effects in HPLC-MS/MS and UPLC-MS/MS analysis of nine basic pharmaceuticals in surface waters.

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2008-03-18)
Jet C Van De Steene, Willy E Lambert

When developing an LC-MS/MS-method matrix effects are a major issue. The effect of co-eluting compounds arising from the matrix can result in signal enhancement or suppression. During method development much attention should be paid to diminishing matrix effects as much as possible. The present work evaluates matrix effects from aqueous environmental samples in the simultaneous analysis of a group of 9 specific pharmaceuticals with HPLC-ESI/MS/MS and UPLC-ESI/MS/MS: flubendazole, propiconazole, pipamperone, cinnarizine, ketoconazole, miconazole, rabeprazole, itraconazole and domperidone. When HPLC-MS/MS is used, matrix effects are substantial and can not be compensated for with analogue internal standards. For different surface water samples different matrix effects are found. For accurate quantification the standard addition approach is necessary. Due to the better resolution and more narrow peaks in UPLC, analytes will co-elute less with interferences during ionisation, so matrix effects could be lower, or even eliminated. If matrix effects are eliminated with this technique, the standard addition method for quantification can be omitted and the overall method will be simplified. Results show that matrix effects are almost eliminated if internal standards (structural analogues) are used. Instead of the time-consuming and labour-intensive standard addition method, with UPLC the internal standardization can be used for quantification and the overall method is substantially simplified.

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Ammonium acetate, suitable for mass spectrometry (MS), LiChropur, eluent additive for LC-MS
Propiconazole, PESTANAL®, analytical standard