Development of a Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometric Method for Quantification of Mycophenolic Acid and Its Glucuronides in Dried Blood Spot Samples

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Personalized immunosuppressive therapy, including accurate drug dosing based on the drug blood level, leads to better clinical outcomes, specifically regarding avoidance of drug-induced adverse effects and maintenance of efficacy. Mycophenolic acid (MPA) is used as an immunosuppressant in transplantation of various solid organs. The aim of this study was to develop a method for quantification of MPA and its metabolites, mycophenolic acid 7-O-glucuronide (MPAG) and mycophenolic acid acyl glucuronide, in dried blood spot (DBS) samples, using liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization/tandem mass spectrometry.


For sample preparation, a microwave-drying approach was used to deactivate enzymes and reduce drying time. Blood volume was calculated in a DBS disk of 3 mm diameter. Concentrations of analytes in plasma from patients receiving mycophenolate mofetil were compared with DBS samples after hematocrit correction.


The method yielded good recoveries of all 3 analytes (90.3%–104.2%). Blood volume in the disk was calculated as 3.0 ± 0.2 μL. Linearity over concentration ranges of 0.1–30 mcg/mL MPA, 0.1–200 mcg/mL MPAG, and 0.125–10 mcg/mL mycophenolic acid acyl glucuronide was obtained with r2 ≥0.999. Intraday and interday variations were less than 14.6%, and accuracy was within ±11.9%. Passing–Bablok analysis showed no significant differences between plasma concentrations and DBS concentrations after hematocrit correction of MPA and MPAG.


We developed and validated a liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry method for analysis of MPA in DBS samples. The method is useful for monitoring the MPA blood level.

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