High-Sensitivity Tandem Mass Spectrometry Assay for Serum Estrone and Estradiol

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High-sensitivity measurement of serum estrogens is important in adult and pediatric endocrinology and oncology. We developed a high-sensitivity liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assay for simultaneous measurement of estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2). Aliquots of 200 μL of serum were spiked with internal standard, extracted, derivatized with dansyl chloride, and analyzed by LC-MS/MS using 2-dimensional chromatographic separation. Total imprecision for the method was less than 11%; the limit of quantitation was 1 pg/mL. Reference intervals were established with samples from more than 900 healthy postmenopausal women, men, girls, and boys. Concentrations of estrogens in children reached adult levels by Tanner stage 3. In men and postmenopausal women, the median concentrations of total estrogens (E1 + E2) were 39 and 22 pg/mL, ratios were 0.98 and 0.55, and the median E2/E1 respectively. The method requires a small sample volume and has adequate sensitivity and specificity for analyzing estrogens in samples from postmenopausal women, men, and children.

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