Glutathione stability in whole blood: Effects of various deproteinizing acids

Diana Stempak, Shannon Dallas, Julia Klein, Reina Bendayan, Gideon Koren, Sylvain Baruchel

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46 Scopus citations


High-performance liquid chromatography separation of reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH and GSSG) in biologic samples using electrochemical detection offers the convenience of both simultaneous quantitation and simple sample preparation. Rapid acidification is required to prevent GSH autooxidation, GSH and GSSG degradation, and precipitate proteins that interfere with analysis. Currently, little consistency exists in the literature regarding acid selection or the feasibility of sample storage before analysis. The purpose of this work was to examine the effects of perchloric (PCA), trichloroacetic (TCA), metaphosphoric (MPA), and 5-sulfosalicylic (SSA) acids on the short-term stability of GSH and GSSG measurements in whole blood. Samples were collected from adult volunteers and treated with multiple concentrations of each acid. The samples were analyzed immediately and aliquots were stored at -80°C for up to 28 days. The suitability of each acid was assessed by percentage change of GSH and GSSG from baseline, efficiency of protein removal, and alteration of chromatogram characteristics. In general, increasing the acid concentration improved sample stability. Nevertheless, SSA did not achieve acceptable sample stability at any concentration tested. MPA was found to leave substantial amounts of protein in the samples, and TCA may interfere with the peaks of interest. Based on these results, a final concentration of 15% PCA is suggested for analysis of glutathione in whole blood. Although immediate sample preparation is preferred, 15% PCA can maintain sample integrity for 4 weeks after storage at -80°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-549
Number of pages8
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood
  • Electrochemical detection
  • Glutathione
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Stability


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