Dried Blood Spot Methods in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring: Methods, Assays, and Pitfalls

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This article reviews dried blood spot (DBS) sampling in therapeutic drug monitoring. The DBS method involves applying whole blood obtained via a fingerprick to a sampling paper. After drying and transportation, the blood spot is extracted and analyzed in the laboratory. Assays of many medicines in DBS have already been reported in the literature and are reviewed here. The technique involved in and factors that may influence the accuracy and reproducibility of DBS methods are also discussed. DBS sampling ultimately seems to be a useful technique for therapeutic drug monitoring that could have many advantages in comparison with conventional venous sampling. However, its benefits must be weighed against the degree of potential errors introduced via the sampling method; there is evidently a need for more standardization, quality assurance, basic research, and assay development.

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