Hemato-critical issues in quantitative analysis of dried blood spots: challenges and solutions

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Abstract

Dried blood spot (DBS) sampling for quantitative determination of drugs in blood has entered the bioanalytical arena at a fast pace during the last decade, primarily owing to progress in analytical instrumentation. Despite the many advantages associated with this new sampling strategy, several issues remain, of which the hematocrit issue is undoubtedly the most widely discussed challenge, since strongly deviating hematocrit values may significantly impact DBS-based quantitation. In this review, an overview is given of the different aspects of the ‘hematocrit problem’ in quantitative DBS analysis. The different strategies that try to cope with this problem are discussed, along with their potential and limitations. Implementation of some of these strategies in practice may help to overcome this important hurdle in DBS assays, further allowing DBS to become an established part of routine quantitative bioanalysis.

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