Researchers from the University Children's Hospital in Erlangen, near Nuernberg, Germany, are using the API 4000™ LC/MS/MS System from Applied Biosystems to master the problems associated with steroid analysis and paediatric therapeutic drug monitoring, in a number of research projects.
Dr Manfred Rauh, head of the clinical laboratory, explained why this instrument was chosen, “Many of our research programs are looking at the potential of new technologies to investigate a range of metabolic parameters, including amino acids, peptides and steroids, from all kinds of samples; plasma, urine, saliva and dried blood spots.”
“These projects focus mainly on metabolic disorders and therapeutic drug monitoring of, for example, immunosuppressive drugs in children following bone marrow transplantation.”
“The low concentrations of many metabolites and steroids in children and the small sample volumes we receive require specific analytical methods and the API 4000 System offers excellent sensitivity in these cases, particularly for steroid analysis.”
“We are very pleased with the instrument as it is extremely reliable and results are not affected by matrix effects, unlike with immunoassays.”
“Also, we can easily analyse different substances simultaneously, this is very important because drugs are now often used in combination and there are many interferences and interactions between them that must be considered.”
“Another of our special interests is to develop a method that uses the assessment of saliva as a diagnostic fluid, for example for therapeutic drug monitoring.”
“Saliva would be a particularly welcome option in paediatrics because it is non-invasive and avoids more needles for sick children, and the LC/MS/MS method copes well with this kind of sample.”