Measurement of caffeine and its three primary metabolites in human plasma by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS and clinical application.
Feng Chen,Zhe-Yi Hu, Robert B. Parker, S. Casey Laizure.
Caffeine is a mild stimulant with significant potential for abuse, being consumed in larger doses with the widespread availability of energy drinks and by novel routes of administration such as inspired powder, oral sprays and electronic cigarettes. How these recent changes in caffeine consumption affecting caffeine disposition and abuse potential is of growing concern. In the study of caffeine disposition in humans, it is common to only measure the caffeine concentration; however, caffeine's three major metabolites (paraxanthine, theobromine and theophylline) retain central nervous system stimulant activity that may contribute to the overall pharmacological activity and toxicity. Therefore, it would be scientifically more rigorous to measure caffeine and its major metabolites in the evaluation of caffeine disposition in human subjects. Herein, we report a method for the simultaneous quantification of caffeine and its three major metabolites in human plasma by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS). Human plasma samples were treated by simple protein precipitation and the analytes were separated using a 6?min gradient program. Precision and accuracy were well within in the 15% acceptance range. The simple sample preparation, short runtime, sensitivity and the inclusion of caffeine's major metabolites make this assay methodology optimal for the study of caffeine's pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in human subjects.
Caffeine, Stimulant, Paraxanthine, Theobromine, Theophylline