Analytical sciences : the international journal of the Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry

Development of a candidate reference measurement procedure for the analysis of cortisol in human serum samples by isotope dilution-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

PMID 19667475


A candidate reference measurement procedure involving isotope dilution coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) has been developed and critically evaluated. An isotopically labeled internal standard, cortisol-d(2), was added to a serum sample. After equilibration, solid-phase extractions (SPE) for sample preparation and derivatization with heptafluorobutyric anhydride (HFBA) were performed for GC-MS analysis. The limit of detection (LOD) and the limit of quantification (LOQ) were 5 and 20 ng g(-1), respectively. The recovery of the added cortisol ranged from 99.8 to 101.0%. Excellent precision was obtained with a within-day variation (RSD) of 0.7% for GC-MS analysis. The accuracy of the measurement was evaluated by comparing of results of this reference measurement procedure on lyophilized human serum reference materials for cortisol (European Reference Materials (ERM)-DA 192) as Certified Reference Materials (CRMs). The results of this method for total cortisol agreed with the certified values within some uncertainty. This method, which demonstrates simply, easy, good accuracy, high precision, and is free from interferences from structural analogues, qualifies as a reference measurement procedure.