The LC–MS method for the simultaneous analysis of selected fat-soluble vitamins and their metabolites in serum samples obtained from pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common genetic diseases in children and affects mainly respiratory and digestive system functions. Despite the prolonged supplementation of vitamins, malnutrition manifested by poor growth and weight loss in children is a major complication in CF related to pancreatic insufficiency and difficulty in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. In the present study, we have developed and validated a sensitive and accurate high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC–MS) method for the simultaneous quantification of three fat-soluble vitamins (A, E and K1) and two vitamin D3 active metabolites: 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in serum samples obtained from pediatric patients with CF. In optimized conditions, the LC–MS method was highly sensitive and presented excellent linearity with a regression coefficient higher than 0.999. The accuracy was in the range of 87.55–95.58 % for all analytes. The precision of the method, expressed as% RSD, ranged from 1.36 % to 3.74 % as the intra-day variability and from 2.35 % to 7.98 % as the inter-day precision for all the studied compounds. Sample preparation included a protein precipitation step with the use of methanol followed by liquid-liquid extraction with n-hexane. The statistical analysis (t-test and principal component analysis (PCA)) of the obtained results revealed significant changes in the plasma level of the analyzed compounds, with 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, vitamin E and K1 present at extremely low concentrations in patients with cystic fibrosis in comparison to healthy controls. The elaborated method reached the expectations for the fast and reliable assessment of fat-soluble vitamin status in children with cystic fibrosis in order to diagnose the disease and monitor the treatment process.

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