Quantitative Analysis of Therapeutic Drugs in Dried Blood Spot Samples by Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry: An Avenue to Therapeutic Drug Monitoring
A method is presented for the direct quantitative analysis of therapeutic drugs from dried blood spot samples by mass spectrometry. The method, paper spray mass spectrometry, generates gas phase ions directly from the blood card paper used to store dried blood samples without the need for complex sample preparation and separation; the entire time for preparation and analysis of blood samples is around 30 s. Limits of detection were investigated for a chemically diverse set of some 15 therapeutic drugs; hydrophobic and weakly basic drugs, such as sunitinib, citalopram, and verapamil, were found to be routinely detectable at approximately 1 ng/mL. Samples were prepared by addition of the drug to whole blood. Drug concentrations were measured quantitatively over several orders of magnitude, with accuracies within 10% of the expected value and relative standard deviation (RSD) of around 10% by prespotting an internal standard solution onto the paper prior to application of the blood sample. We have demonstrated that paper spray mass spectrometry can be used to quantitatively measure drug concentrations over the entire therapeutic range for a wide variety of drugs. The high quality analytical data obtained indicate that the technique may be a viable option for therapeutic drug monitoring.