Determination of metanephrines in plasma by liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection
catecholamine; chromatography, reversed-phase; pheochromocytoma
Metanephrines are O-methylated metabolites of catecholamines. We report the use of liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection to determine plasma concentrations of normetanephrine (NMN) and metanephrine (MN). Plasma NMN and MN in 32 normal volunteers and inpatients were compared with concentrations in 23 patients with pheochromocytoma. Metanephrines were adsorbed from plasma onto a cation-exchange column and eluted with ammoniacal methanol. The dried residue was dissolved in mobile phase and injected onto a reversed-phase column. Recoveries of NMN and MN from 1 mL of plasma averaged 50-70%, and results varied linearly with quantity injected over a range of 0.13-55 pmol. The detection limit was 25 fmol for NMN and 50 fmol for MN. Intra-assay CVs were <5%. In normal volunteers and inpatients, plasma concentrations of NMN ranged between 0.12 and 0.73 nmol/L (mean 0.38 nmol/L), and MN between 0.06 and 0.63 nmol/L (mean 0.19 nmol/L). Plasma NMN concentrations were increased in all 23 patients with pheochromocytoma (range 1-172 nmol/L), whereas MN concentrations (range 0.10-382 nmol/L) were increased in only 9 patients. The assay method is reliable and sensitive and offers an approach to examine the extraneuronal metabolism of catecholamines. The method may also be useful in the diagnosis of pheochromocytoma.
Lenders, J., Eisenhofer, G., Armando, I., Keiser, H., Goldstein, D., & Kopin, I. (1993). Determination of metanephrines in plasma by liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Clinical Chemistry, 39 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clinchem/39.1.97