Journal of chromatography

High-performance liquid chromatographic determination of L-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-methylalanine (alpha-methyldopa) in human urine and plasma.

PMID 2037651


A procedure is described for the determination of alpha-methyldopa (MD) [L-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-methylalanine], its metabolite and catecholamines in the urine and plasma of patients undergoing MD therapy, by high-performance liquid chromatography with dual working electrode coulometric detection. An efficient sample preparation procedure is presented for the isolation of endogenous MD, its metabolite and catecholamines from plasma or urine. After deproteinization of a plasma sample with methanol containing 2% of 0.5 M perchloric acid and dilution of a urine sample (1:200), MD, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), 3-O-methylmethyldopa (3-OMMD) and homovanillic acid (HVA) were separated with a Supelcosil LC-18 column. Catecholamines were extracted from the supernatant of deproteinized plasma or from urine by ion exchange on a Sephadex CM-25 column and subsequent adsorption on alumina. The use of the same mobile phase for the concurrent assay of MD, its metabolite and catecholamines increased considerably the efficiency of sample separation. Recoveries were close to 100% for MD, DOPAC, 3-OMMD and HVA and 70% for catecholamines. The effects of various experimental parameters related to mobile phase composition on chromatographic performance are reported. The purity of the eluted compounds was tested by recording both the first detector response (oxidation current) and the second detector response (reduction current). The ratio of the detector responses yielded a chemical reversibility ratio for the detected compound. A number of applications such as monitoring data from patients under MD therapy are presented.

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