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A HPLC-SRM-MS based method for the detection and quantification of methotrexate in urine at doses used in clinical practice for patients with rheumatological disease: a potential measure of adherence.

The Analyst (2015-02-12)
J Bluett, I Riba-Garcia, K Hollywood, S M M Verstappen, A Barton, R D Unwin
ABSTRACT

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease that causes significant disability and reduced life expectancy. The folate antagonist methotrexate (MTX) is first-line therapy for RA when used weekly at low doses (5-25 mg). However, the true rate of adherence to MTX is uncertain. This is in part due to the different methods of measurement of adherence employed with no biochemical test currently available to determine adherence to low dose MTX. Common methods of MTX measurement include immunoassays in patients with high dose therapy, but these assays cross-react with MTX metabolites and lack the sensitivity required to measure adherence to low dose MTX. HPLC-SRM-MS (selected reaction monitoring-mass spectrometry) has several theoretical advantages over immunoassays with improved specificity, minimal cross-reaction and higher sensitivity. The aim of this study was to develop an assay to measure MTX and its major metabolite 7-OH-MTX in urine as a tool to monitor adherence to low dose MTX in clinic. As a proof of concept, urine samples from 4 participants with RA were measured after directly observed therapy. The assay showed improved sensitivity compared to that reported by immunoassays, with low carryover and high within-run precision. In participant samples, MTX was measurable in the urine for up to 105 hours after administration and 7-OH-MTX was detectable up to 98 hours after administration, suggesting that this assay is suitable for the measurement of adherence to therapy. The assay requires minimal sample preparation and can be adopted by other laboratories with minimal study set up.

MATERIALS
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