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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 64-68

An improved method for measurement of testosterone in human plasma and saliva by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry


1 Department of Clinical Studies and Empirical Ethics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Clinical Studies and Empirical Ethics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center; College of Medicine, Al Faisal University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Muhammad M Hammami
MBC.03, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, PO Box 3354, Riyadh 11211
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/japtr.JAPTR_162_19

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The aim of the study was to develop and validate a practical assay of clinically relevant testosterone levels in human plasma and saliva. We performed ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) analysis on Atlantis dC18 steel column using a mobile phase of 2-mM ammonium acetate and acetonitrile (20:80, v: v) that was delivered at 0.3 ml/min. After adding d3-testosterone as an internal standard (IS), we extracted plasma and salivary samples with methyl tert-butyl ether. Mass spectrometry was performed in electrospray positive-ion mode. Targeted ion transitions were examined at m/z 289.18 → 97.04 and 292.24 → 97.04 for testosterone and IS, respectively. We validated the method according to the US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Elution times for testosterone and IS were both around 1.35 min. Testosterone level was linearly associated (r2 = 0.9975 and 0.9958) with peak area ratio of testosterone to IS between 0.5–50 ng/ml and 10–400 pg/ml in plasma and saliva, respectively. The coefficient of variation and bias were ≤12.6% and ≤±12.1% in plasma and ≤10.2% and ≤±5.3% in saliva. The extraction recovery of testosterone was ≥92% from plasma and ≥94% from saliva. Testosterone was stable (≥91%) for 24 h at room temperature and for 8 weeks at −20°C in both plasma and salivary samples. We report a simple, validated, UPLC-MS/MS assay that can be used to determine clinically relevant levels of testosterone in human plasma and saliva.


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