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Rejection and toxicity occur despite monitoring of tacrolimus blood levels during clinical routine. The intracellular concentration in lymphocytes could be a better reflection of the tacrolimus exposure. Four extraction methods for tacrolimus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were validated and evaluated with UHPLC-MS/MS. Methods based on protein precipitation (method 1), solid phase extraction (method 2), phospholipids and proteins removal (method 3) and liquid-liquid extraction (method 4) were evaluated on linearity, lower limit of quantification (LLOQ), imprecision and bias. Validation was completed for the methods within these requirements, adding matrix effect and recovery. Linearity was 0.126 (LLOQ)-15 µg/L, 0.504 (LLOQ)-15 µg/L and 0.298 (LLOQ)-15 µg/L with method 1, 2 and 3, respectively. With method 4 non-linearity and a LLOQ higher than 0.504 µg/L were observed. Inter-day imprecision and bias were ≤4.6%, ≤10.9%; ≤6.8%, ≤-11.2%; ≤9.4%, ≤10.3% and ≤44.6%, ≤23.1%, respectively, with methods 1, 2, 3 and 4. Validation was completed for method 1 and 3 with matrix effect (7.6%; 15.0%) and recovery (8.9%; 10.8%), respectively. The most suitable UHPLC-MS/MS method for quantification of intracellular tacrolimus was protein precipitation due to the best performance characteristics and the least time-consuming rate and complexity.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
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