Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for fatty acid ethyl esters in meconium: Assessment of prenatal exposure to alcohol in two European cohorts

Simona Pichini, Manuela Pellegrini, Joey Gareri, Gideon Koren, Oscar Garcia-Algar, Oriol Vall, Federica Vagnarelli, Piergiorgio Zuccaro, Emilia Marchei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) in meconium emerged as a reliable, direct biological marker for establishing fetal exposure to ethanol. We developed an LC-MS/MS method for ethyl laurate, ethyl myristate, ethyl palmitate, ethyl palmitoleate, ethyl stearate, ethyl oleate, ethyl linoleate, ethyl linolenate, and ethyl arachidonate using ethyl heptadecanoate as the internal standard. The analytes were extracted from meconium with hexane, followed by solid-phase extraction with aminopropyl-silica columns. Chromatography was performed on a C8 reversed-phase column using water/isopropanol/acetonitrile (20:40:40, v/v/v) as a mobile phase. A triple quadrupole mass spectrometer that monitored the transitions in multiple reaction-monitoring mode was used for the detection of the analytes. Limits of quantification (LOQs) varied between 0.12 and 0.20 nmol/g. Calibration curves were linear from LOQs to 50 nmol/g for all analytes, with a minimum r2 > 0.99. At three concentrations spanning the linear dynamic range, mean recoveries ranged between 53.6 and 86.7% for the different analytes. The validated method was applied to analysis of meconium in newborns of two European cities. The two cohorts presented with different prevalence of gestational ethanol consumption during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-933
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Fatty acid ethyl esters
  • Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
  • Meconium
  • Prenal exposure

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